BALTIMORE — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young on Wednesday reimposed a ban on indoor dining at city restaurants and bars. The changes go into effect Friday at 5 p.m.
“I have always said we would continue to monitor the data and not hesitate to tighten restrictions if the data tell us it’s needed,” Young said during a virtual news conference.
Restaurants are still allowed to offer outdoor dining, curbside pickup, and delivery.
Young also ordered everyone ages two and up to wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. Only those dining or with a medical condition are exempted.
The ban comes as many restaurants are set to participate in Restaurant Week.
"Downtown Partnership is reaching out to all the participating businesses to inform them of the Mayor’s announcement," said Mike Evitts. "It is not yet clear if the ban on indoor dining will affect the number of restaurants participating in #BaltRW. We will update the Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week website as we learn of the changes."
WMAR-2 News reached out to a few businesses participating.
The Wine Collective said it is currently calling people who've already made indoor reservations.
"We are still going forward. We are setting up a page for online ordering and doing a lot of takeout," said co-owner Felipe Pallares. "We’re gonna push that as much as possible that way people are safe. We understand the move by the city but at the same time we were really excited to have something put together and be inside the winery and inside a beautiful bar as well.
Tracey Sangria, owner of Chuck's Trading Post said she wasn't surprised by the mayor's announcement.
"We sort of knew this was coming," said Sangria. "We never offered indoor dining when the city said we could. We have a small space and there's just no way to safely socially distance. We've had carryout and that's how we'll handle restaurant week."
The city health department will review COVID-19 data daily to monitor whether the suspension will continue after that time period, or be lifted.