Baltimore City Prepares for Expanded Outdoor Restaurant Seating, Eases Some Business Restrictions

| May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Today, Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young announced some easing of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes curbside retail and outdoor fitness classes with less than 10 people being allowed starting tomorrow. He also discussed preparation for expanded outdoor seating at restaurants when it is allowed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

Restaurants have already been open for curbside pickup and stores such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, and liquor stores have remained open, but now other types of retail stores can open for curbside business. The State of Maryland has already allowed retail stores to open with up to 50 percent capacity as of May 15th, but this was restricted by the City of Baltimore. Unlike the State of Maryland, Baltimore City also continues to restrict the reopening of personal services such as barber shops and salons other than for essential employees, as well as the opening of houses of worship with up to 50 percent capacity.

Mayor Young said today that retail business will be allowed to apply for special parking zones.

Mayor Young advised that outdoor fitness classes must adhere to social distancing guidelines and the use of masks.

Mayor Young has said he is basing all of his decisions regarding reopening Baltimore in conjunction with the Baltimore City Health Department. There are currently 4,888 reported COVID-19 cases, 368 hospitalizations, and 225 deaths in Baltimore City due to the virus.

Governor Hogan’s Stage 2 reopening plan, which does not have a definitive starting date, is expected to allow restaurant dining rooms to open at 25 percent capacity and to allow for outdoor seating. “Once the Governor moves to Stage 2, I will reassess based on advice of our public health professionals,” said Mayor Young.

Mayor Young and Councilman Eric Costello said that Baltimore City is preparing for its implementation of State 2 by expanding outdoor seating, which will include the closure of some streets for additional seating areas, and speeding up the outdoor seating permit process from three months to about 72 hours.

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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