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

Posted at 5:15 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 07:23:04-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland is moving past phase one of reopening and lifting some restrictions as the temperatures go up and coronavirus numbers go down.

Right after Governor Hogan announced restaurants could reopen outside dining places like the Federal House down at the City Dock started to prepare for what it will look Friday at 5 p.m.

Alex Blaser, the bar manager is hoping for some more street seating so they can take more of your orders.

“We normally have a cafe set up out here,” Blaser said as he pointed to the patio area. “We’re hoping to extend it a little bit, more tables and what not. Obviously be cautious with social distancing and stuff like that.”

Governor Hogan partially reopened outside dining at restaurants and social clubs like VFW’s and Elks clubs.

Summer camps, community pools, youth sports can all open with strict guidelines.

He laid out what he expects from restaurant.

“Restaurant patrons must be appropriately distanced with the no more than six people seated at a table,” Hogan said. “Restaurants require to use single use disposable paper menus or sanitize reusable menus between each use and sanitize outdoor tables and chairs between each customer seating.”

Staff will have to regularly get their temperature checked and continue wearing masks and gloves.

To help local businesses he’s encouraging the closure of parking spots and streets.

“Started searching on the internet for tables with like the umbrella hole,” Rodolfo Calderon, the Manager of Level, a Small Plate Lounge said.

Level has never had outside seating but they are looking forward to evolving and hoping for some pavement to put up tables.

“Part of the whole thing about Level is the experience itself,” said Calderon. “You can come to the restaurant and have us explain to you how everything works because we’re a small plates lounge.”

The servers will be making tips again, which is great news for the staff at Federal Place.

“A lot of them make their livelihood off of this place, it’s super important we get table service back,” Blaser said.

Alex Morales, a lifelong Annapolis resident is looking forward to getting food with his friends again, and hopes restaurants take the precautions seriously.

“You actually miss getting that energy of just being surrounded by people instead of just being cooped up,” said Morales. “It really gives you freedom, and it makes you enjoy the little things in life too.”

The Governor still leaving it up to individual local leaders on when to move into this part of phase one.

He said Montgomery County is one of two in the state that hasn’t started phase one, but needs to start thinking about it.

Here are the exact guidelines for restaurants and bars.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman issued the following statement in response:

“Harford County will move safely and quickly following Gov. Hogan’s announcement today, which allows local jurisdictions to complete Stage One of the Maryland Roadmap to Recovery beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 29th. Tomorrow I plan to help our restaurants prepare for this next step by issuing an executive order to facilitate outdoor dining, similar to my executive order for retail sales.”