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Local counties align with Maryland's latest COVID-19 actions, lifting capacity limits at restaurants

With winter coming, many restaurants are adjusting outdoor dining options
Posted at 1:30 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 07:11:15-05

MARYLAND — Local jurisdictions are beginning to align with the state's latest actions on COVID-19 restrictions.

Beginning Friday at 5 p.m., capacity limits will be lifted on outdoor and indoor dining in Maryland.

Restaurants and bars still have to arrange distanced seating.

RELATED: Gov. Hogan: Capacity limits lifted at restaurants, casinos and more, large venues to allow 50% capacity

Capacity limits will also be lifted on retail businesses, religious facilities, fitness centers, personal services, and indoor recreational establishments (casinos, bingo halls, bowling alley, skating rinks).

Other large outdoor and indoor venues will expand to 50% capacity, including conference, wedding, and concert venues, as well as theaters, racing facilities, and sporting venues.

Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols will remain in place for all indoor and outdoor business and establishments.

The following counties so far are aligning with the state:

In a statement on Thursday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said:

“While we remain concerned that communities across our state have seen key metrics level off in recent days, I have repeatedly said that the state’s patchwork approach creates confusion and limits our ability to significantly impact public health. This pandemic is not over and we cannot let our guard down now.

In Baltimore County, we’re focused on continuing to get our children back in the classroom — and then keeping our school buildings open — which requires all of us to do our part to slow the spread of this virus. Especially with the emergence of new variants, I urge Marylanders to remain vigilant so that we do not jeopardize the progress we’ve made together.

We will continue to aggressively enforce face-covering and social distancing requirements in businesses—and will continue to hold establishments accountable for violations.

If our data in the coming weeks shows that Governor Hogan’s order creates a detrimental impact to the health, safety, and welfare of our residents, Baltimore County is prepared to take steps to increase restrictions, as needed, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health.

I urge all of our residents to use caution and help us stay on the path to winning our fight against this disease. Be a caring and responsible neighbor by continuing to wear a mask, practicing social distancing, and getting vaccinated as soon as you have the opportunity. By working together, we can end this crisis once and for all.”

As of Thursday, Baltimore City will not be following Gov. Hogan's order.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Mayor Brandon Scott's Office said:

“The numbers and public health indicators clearly do not warrant a reopening at the Governor’s pace at this time. The Mayor remains confident in Baltimore’s authority to maintain the common sense, local public health mandates currently in place as we continue to navigate this pandemic.”

The spokesperson said to expect more information from their office between now and Friday's 2pm COVID-19 update.