Maryland to Allow Gyms, Restaurant Dining Rooms, Casinos, Malls, and Amusements to Reopen

| June 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

Governor Larry Hogan announced yesterday that more businesses and activities can begin to reopen as part of the second phase of Maryland’s Stage Two ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic. Indoor dining and outdoor amusements can reopen at 50% capacity starting tomorrow at 5pm. On June 19th at 5pm, gyms can open at 50% capacity; malls, casinos, and arcades can reopen with safety protocol in place; and the capacity of daycare centers will be increased. Graduations ceremonies, outdoor high school sports, and the ability for small groups to enter school buildings will also be permitted starting on June 19th.

It is up to local jurisdictions to implement the State’s plans. While Maryland has moved on to the second phase of Stage Two, Baltimore City still has not completed Stage One as retail businesses are not allowed to have customers in the stores.

Regarding Baltimore City speeding up its recovery, Governor Hogan said “I think it’s absolutely absurd that there are thousands of people gathering in the streets and yet a small business in Baltimore can’t open their doors.”

“I think Jack Young should let those small retail shops open, they should have been open a long time ago. And Baltimore is far below the state average, there’s no excuses,” he added.

Many Baltimore City retailers and restaurant owners have become vocal in their pleas for the City to reopen.

Baltimore City has not yet followed the guidelines of Stage Two which began one week ago.

Press release from Governor Larry Hogan 

With key statewide health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction, Governor Larry Hogan today announced additional safe and phased reopenings through Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’

“This truly is one of the most daunting challenges our state has ever faced, but sometimes the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “And while I cannot promise you that we will fully recover from all these problems quickly, I will tell you that together we have faced and overcome daunting challenges before, and that we will get through these tough and difficult times together.”

The state’s critical health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction. Hospitalizations have dropped below 1,000, and to their lowest point in 61 days. ICU beds are also at an eight-week low. The state’s positivity rate has declined to 7.2 percent, and the positivity rate has dropped to single digits in 23 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions.

REOPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 12 AT 5 PM:

  • INDOOR DINING. Restaurants can resume indoor operations at 50 percent capacity, with appropriate distancing, and following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association. Maryland Department of Health directives.
  • OUTDOOR AMUSEMENTS. Outdoor amusements and rides, including miniature golf and go-kart tracks, may resume with appropriate health and safety protocols. Capacity restrictions at pools will be increased to 50 percent with strict safety guidelines still in place. Guidelines and best practices.

Read the updated executive order.

REOPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 19 AT 5 PM

  • INDOOR FITNESS ACTIVITIES. After an extra week of sanitization and safety preparations, indoor gyms, martial arts, dance, and other indoor studio fitness activities may begin to safely reopen at 50 percent capacity with strict health, distancing, and sanitization measures. Guidelines and best practices.
  • CASINOS, ARCADES, AND MALLS. Casinos, arcades, and malls may also begin to resume operations with strict safety protocols.

SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE REOPENINGS

  • GRADUATION CEREMONIES. The governor is encouraging local school systems to plan and hold safe outdoor graduation ceremonies with appropriate capacity and social distancing measures in place.
  • SCHOOL BUILDINGS. School systems may now begin bringing small groups of students and staff into school buildings. School systems are encouraged to prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. All nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities.
  • CHILD CARE PROVIDERS. All child care providers may begin to reopen, and the number of individuals child care providers can have in one room has been expanded to a maximum of 15.
  • OUTDOOR HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS. Outdoor high school sports may begin to resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines that were previously announced for youth sports programs.

EXPANDED TESTING IN BALTIMORE CITY. State officials are encouraging anyone who has recently attended peaceful demonstrations to get tested for COVID-19. As part of this effort, beginning next week, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland National Guard will open multiple high-volume COVID-19 testing sites across Baltimore City, including at the Baltimore Convention Center.

REOPENING GUIDANCE. As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.

COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH. Stage Two will continue to be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that allows local leaders to allow reopenings at their discretion.

About the Author:

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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