Maryland will become the next state to significantly ease their government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions. Gov. Larry Hogan announced that beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, all capacity limits at restaurants and stores will be removed. Currently those limits are set at 50% capacity, with local governments permitted to impose harsher restrictions.
Additionally, both indoor and outdoor large venues, including stadiums, will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
The Republican governor was clear, however, that the state's mask mandate would remain in place.
Additionally, though bars and restaurants are opening to full capacity, patrons have to stay seated at tables that are socially distanced from one another. He counseled local governments to unify behind these policy changes rather than impose their own stricter guidelines.
"State law does grant local jurisdictions some powers to take actions that are more restrictive than the state is," Hogan said. "But my advice would be that they should follow the state guidance and get in line. It's been very confusing with a patchwork of different people changing rules or not being in alignment with one another."