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These counties are allowing outdoor dining as the state reopens

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Posted at 12:13 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 14:40:09-04

MARYLAND — These Maryland counties are letting restaurants serve customers outside beginning today at 5 pm. and/or expanding their list of businesses and activities that will be permitted to open.


As of June 1, 2020, restaurants can apply online for two types of programs; Program 1, is for outdoor sidewalk dining, and is approved by DHCD; and Program 2 is for streets and parking lanes closures approved by BCDOT. The applications through BCDOT are for restaurants and licensed food establishments that want to begin operations on open spaces, whether on public space or private property as a result of Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s announcement to create next steps for restaurants permitted for outdoor dining.

Application Process

Restaurants seeking a permit for outdoor seating can apply online with the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development. Restaurants seeking a permit requiring partial or full street closures and/or closure of parking lanes for the purposes of outdoor dining should apply with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.

Program 1- Outdoor Seating Relief Program Permit:

Restaurants that are already permitted for outdoor seating were allowed to begin serving meals outside on Friday, May 29, 2020, at 5 p.m. Restaurants that do not currently have outdoor seating or wish to extend their existing outdoor seating on the sidewalk in front of their property may start applying online for a permit as of Monday, June 1, 2020. Federal ADA requirements must still be followed for any extension. Applicants may apply by visiting the City's e-permits website and selecting the category for ‘Outdoor Seating – Temporary’ to apply. Questions regarding this permit can be directed to the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development at

Program 2- Outdoor Dining Street Closure Program:

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) is now accepting online applications that allow restaurants to apply for public space permits requiring partial or full street closures and/or the closure of parking lanes for the purposes of outdoor dining. Applicants should submit a request online for the Outdoor Dining Street Closure Program by filling out the online form below and submitting it to BCDOT's Special Events Division. Approval information will be provided within 7 business days. Questions regarding this permit can be emailed to

In keeping with the Governor’s order on outdoor dining, Restaurants must:

  • Ensure patrons are appropriately distanced with no more than six people seated at a table, with the exception of members of the same household.
  • Ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other, except for households seated together.
  • Use single-use disposable paper menus or sanitize reusable menus between each seating.
  • Sanitize outdoor tables and chairs between each customer seating.
  • Train staff in current COVID-19 health and workplace guidelines.
  • Begin screening procedures including daily temperature checks of all staff.
  • Ensure staff wear masks or face coverings when interacting with other employees or patrons.

Mayor Young also announced that the City will review its policy regarding size limits on religious gatherings within a week.

Policies involving the operation of private outdoor swimming pools will be reassessed within two weeks. Currently, all City-operated pools remain closed.

RELATED: Gov. Hogan: Restaurants can resume outdoor dining, outdoor activities can resume beginning Friday


Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that restaurants with outdoor dining permits can begin serving patrons outside only at 5 p.m. today.

Baltimore County is also aligning requirements for restaurants, retail and religious services/houses of worship with the state meaning houses of worship, barbershops, hair salons can open at 50 percent capacity.


Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced that restaurants and bars can open for outdoor seating service on Friday, May 29 at 5:00 p.m. under state guidelines.

Additional Recreation and Parks amenities will open:

  • Dog parks
  • Dog beaches
  • County park beaches
  • Pavilions (reservations [] required)

Private youth camps are allowed to open under state guidance. Swimming at county or community beaches is no longer prohibited, but swimmers are advised that no routine bacteria testing has been conducted.

Swimmers swim at their own risk until water quality monitoring can resume.

Beginning June 1 at 8:00 a.m. additional Recreation and Parks amenities will open:

  • Athletic fields for youth skills training only - no organized activities (usual field permitting [] for accredited organizations is required)
  • Basketball courts

Beginning June 5, seasonal outdoor pools will be inspected on a rolling basis. Pools can open once they are approved. Seasonal outdoor pools are inspected each spring prior to their opening and this year those inspections were postponed due to the suspension of all non-essential activity.

Beginning July 6, modified county outdoor day camps begin (camps will be limited to 10, 8 children and 2 staff). Registration will begin June 11. Traditional Camps are canceled and speciality camps are delayed to July/August

No additional actions are being announced with regard to houses of worship and religious institutions at this time. They remain opened for up to 10 people at a time for individual ministry.

County Executive Pittman met with more than 50 pastors and faith leaders and is working towards a plan to safely expand the capacity allowed in our houses of worship.

The following remain closed until further notice:

  • Senior Centers
  • Fitness Centers
  • Movie Theaters (including “pop-up” drive-in theaters)
  • Shopping Malls
  • Nail Salons
  • Playgrounds
  • County park visitors centers
  • County park restrooms
  • Indoor aquatic centers
  • Recreation centers


Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced an expanded list of businesses and activities that will be permitted to open beginning at 5 p.m. today.

Frederick County has fully implemented the initial portion of Stage 1 of the Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery plan.

As of 5 p.m. on May 29, the following will be authorized in Frederick County, with limitations:

  • All retail establishments – Retail businesses may open at 50% capacity.
  • Hair salons and barbershops – Operations may resume at 50% capacity, by appointment only. Additional cleaning and sanitation are required. Morning hours must be established exclusively for seniors and other vulnerable residents at least one day each week.
  • Indoor worship – Indoor worship facilities may open at 50% capacity. No more than 250 people may be present. Worship leaders are encouraged to implement the recommendations of the Governor’s Faith-Based Task Force [].

For all three categories, safety requirements include the use of face coverings by employees and customers, and physical distancing of 6 feet.


Harford County restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outside beginning 5 p.m. on May 29.


Reopening today at 7:00 a.m.:

  • Retailers in Howard County may open at 50% of maximum capacity.
  • Retailers are encouraged to use curbside pick-up whenever possible.
  • Barbers and hair salons may open at 50% of maximum occupancy including staff. Businesses must continue to operate by appointment only. Staff and clients must wear masks. Maximum occupancy regarding barber shops and hair salons is calculated by the total square footage of the establishment divided by 100.
  • Religious institutions may hold outdoor services of up to 250 people, as long as all participants can maintain appropriate physical distancing of 6 feet. Indoor services are still limited to a maximum of 10 people.

At 5:00 p.m.:

  • Restaurants and bars in Howard County may reopen to customers for outdoor seating only. Restaurants may still use curbside pick-up and delivery. Restaurants and bars that do not currently have outdoor seating will receive information on an expedited process in the coming days to facilitate outdoor seating.
  • Food consumption restrictions will be lifted for faith institutions.


Queen Anne’s County is ready to assist restaurants and bars in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order which allows for the reopening of outdoor dining this today at 5 p.m.

All establishments planning to re-open must submit a Restaurant-Bar Outdoor Seating Form- Plan Cover Sheet along with a narrative detailing their overall plan to open within the frame work of the guidelines issued on Wednesday.

For restaurants and bars seeking to submit new or modified expansion plans to add outdoor seating in adjacent outside areas also need to submit a Temporary Expansion for Outdoor Dining Application.

All forms and instructions can be found by visiting and looking under Stage One Resources or by contacting the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce or the County’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism.

We will continue to update the status on each county as more announcements are made in this article.