TOWSON, Md. — Baltimore County is looking into the possibility of closing some streets to make outdoor seating available for area restaurants, when the time comes to reopen.
Under Governor Hogan’s statewide executive order, restaurants and bars are currently only permitted to provide carryout and delivery service.
“We don’t know exactly when the state will allow outdoor seating, but we’re taking action now to help ensure these small businesses can reopen as fast and as safely as possible,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.
Public health officials believe outdoor restaurant and bar seating, combined with social distancing and sanitary practices, present a lower risk of COVID-19 being transmitted as opposed to indoor seating.
The county says it has sent a letter to restaurants with guidance on how to prepare and implement those precautions so they can open more quickly when permitted.
An application process is in the works for bars and restaurants to request expansions of their business that could allow outdoor dining in areas not previously authorized, including on private and public property.
Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young said Wednesday his administration was also considering ways to allow for outdoor dining.
Just last week, Olszeswki lifted the county's stay-at-home restrictions and allowed for some businesses to open with limitations.