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Indoor dining suspended and face mask required in public

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 18:23:44-04

BALTIMORE — It's masks up in Baltimore City for anyone two and older while in public. The face covering requirement went into effect Friday at 5 p.m.

Also in effect, the elimination of indoor dining.

"The word pivot has been used a lot and we are pivoting literally every day," said Charlie Gjerde, co-owner of Wicked Sisters in Hampden. "We're just trying to figure out the best way to go and what is the safest approach."

In the hours leading up to 5 p.m., the restaurant was still offering indoor seating to guests who wanted to be inside.

"We're continue to follow all the rules set forth by the CDC and local officials. We actually were seating at less than 50 percent capacity. We knew indoor dining would go away again and here we are."

For restaurants the suspension of indoor dining means a greater emphasis on carryout and patio dining.

A few blocks away on 36th Street Avenue Kitchen & Bar is expanding outdoor dining with the neighborhoods first parklet.

"We saw this as a way to enhance business," said owner Patrick Dalhgren.

Dalgren applied for the special permit and was approved on July 22nd.

"I think this is a great tool," he said. "I think it'll bring more foot traffic to Hampden. We’re just trying to bring as many people into the stores and restaurants. This gives the opportunity for more people to sit down, which in return gives more opportunity for them to go to other businesses."

As far the suspension of indoor dining, Baltimore City says roughly 800-900 restaurants are impacted. To ensure public safety a spokesperson said inspections occur daily to make sure restaurants and businesses are complying with COVID-19 regulations.