Governor Hogan Announces Lifting of Capacity Limits, Masking and Distancing Protocols Maintained

At yesterday’s press conference, the Governor announced new actions to further ease the COVID-19 mitigation measures currently in place:
EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, MARCH 12 AT 5:00 PM:
 
CAPACITY LIMITS LIFTED, MASKING AND DISTANCING PROTOCOLS MAINTAINED. Capacity limits will be lifted on outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants and bars, retail businesses, religious facilities, fitness centers, casinos, personal services, and indoor recreational establishments. Bars and restaurants will be open for seated and distanced service only—patrons may not stand at a crowded bar. Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols will remain in place. Read the Governor’s order here.
LARGE OUTDOOR AND INDOOR VENUES MAY OPERATE AT 50% CAPACITY. Large outdoor and indoor venues may begin operating at 50% capacity. This includes theaters; concert, convention, and wedding venues; racing facilities, and outdoor entertainment and sporting venues. Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols will remain in place.
MEDICAL ADULT DAY CARE CENTERS TO REOPEN. Medical adult day care centers may reopen, with facilities able to set appropriate restrictions and safety measures. Read the Governor’s order here.
QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS LIFTED; TRAVEL ADVISORY REMAINS IN PLACE. Quarantine requirements and other restrictions on out-of-state travel will be lifted. A Maryland Department of Health (MDH) travel advisory will remain in place, and Marylanders continue to be encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 upon their return from out-of-state travel.
Read the updated MD Department of Health directives here.
 

ADDITIONAL ORDERS AND GUIDANCE:

STATEWIDE MASKING ORDER REMAINS IN EFFECT. Maryland’s statewide masking order remains in full force and effect. This requires the wearing of masks or face coverings at any public indoor facility, including retail establishments, fitness centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, personal service establishments, in the public spaces of all public and private businesses across the state, and when using public transportation. Masks are still required in all outdoor public areas whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.

TELEWORK. With contact tracing continuing to show some transmission among individuals who are working outside the home, particularly in office settings, the state continues to encourage employers to support telework whenever possible.

LICENSING AND PERMITTING. The Governor’s order authorizing the suspension of license and permitting expirations will sunset on June 30, 2021. Time frame suspensions made before this order will remain in effect until June 30, though agencies may terminate them earlier. Agencies are explicitly authorized to conduct virtual hearings and meetings. Read the order.

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE:

WESTERN MARYLAND MASS VACCINATION SITE. The Governor announced that the Western Maryland mass vaccination site in Hagerstown will open one week early on Thursday, March 25. This will give the state at least one mass vaccination site in each region. The state is in active discussions with jurisdictions that have expressed an interest in hosting a mass vaccination site.

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