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Judge denies request to temporarily halt Baltimore City's dining restrictions

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 17:56:13-05

BALTIMORE — A judge denied a request to temporarily halt an order prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining in Baltimore City due to COVID-19 concerns.

In a statement, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said:

"I am pleased with the Circuit Court's decision to rule in favor of the health and safety of Baltimoreans. Thank you to Solicitor Moore and the Law Department for your work on this case.

My decision to temporarily restrict in-person dining was not an easy one, but was necessary given the science and critical role Baltimore’s hospitals play in the COVID-19 response and in providing critical care for Maryland residents statewide. We will continue to evaluate the COVID metrics on infections, hospitalizations and deaths and I will ease restrictions when it is justifiable by the data.

As your Mayor, my top responsibility is ensuring our residents are healthy and safe. I call on all of our residents to make a point of supporting your local restaurants this holiday season as we get through this difficult and unprecedented time together."

RELATED: Local indoor dining bans to be challenged in court

Last week, the Restaurant Association of Maryland filed legal action against Baltimore over the jurisdiction's stricter rules on restaurants.

Marshall Weston, president & CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, released a statement in response to Wednesday's ruling in Baltimore, saying:

“We are disappointed in today’s ruling that denied our request for a temporary restraining order against Baltimore City’s ban on indoor and outdoor dining. This decision directly impacts thousands of employees who have lost their jobs and are unable to provide for their families, while also expediting the number of restaurants that will close permanently.”