Baltimore Restaurant Dining Rooms Can Now Reopen at 25% Capacity

| August 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young press release: 

Today, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has signed an Executive Order reopening indoor dining at a reduced capacity while adding updated restrictions on gatherings.

Mayor Young’s executive order includes the following:

  • Restaurants may reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity with social distancing and face coverings when not eating or drinking
  • Outdoor gatherings will be capped at 25 people
  • Indoor gatherings will be capped at 25% of occupancy or 25 people, whichever is lower
  • Religious facilities will be capped at 25% of occupancy or 25 people, whichever is lower
  • Retail establishments and malls will be capped at 25% of occupancy or 25 people, whichever is lower
  • The casino will be capped at 25% of occupancy
  • Indoor recreation establishments will be capped at 25% of occupancy or 25 people, whichever is lower.

Specific examples of indoor recreation establishments are bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller and ice skating rinks, social and fraternal clubs, and indoor areas of any other establishment subject to Maryland’s admission/amusement tax. For purposes of this Executive Order, “gathering” is defined as an assembly or meeting, especially a social or festive one for a specific purpose. The Mayor’s order takes effect Friday, August 7, at 5:00 p.m.

Mayor Young issued the following statement:

“Today’s action is about protecting the wholistic welfare of our city,” Mayor Young said. “I have chosen to act to protect the financial wellbeing of our city and our residents. Congress’ inability to come to an agreement to provide relief and support for the people of our country is deeply disheartening. Their inaction has forced my hand. Our residents need to be able to support themselves and their families during this difficult time. This reopening does not mean that we are in the clear as it relates to the pandemic but rather that I want to support our residents facing extreme financial hardships as a result of working in the restaurant and service industry. While I will be allowing very limited capacity for indoor dining, I remain concerned about community spread which is why I have reduced the allowable capacity for most gatherings.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Dzirasa issued the following statement:

“After careful consideration of the unique economic challenges faced by the restaurant industry, Mayor Young has made the decision that indoor dining will be allowable with 25% capacity at restaurants,” Dr. Dzirasa said. “Additionally, Mayor Young’s executive order puts restrictions on large gatherings, indoors and outdoors.  We recognize that there are different levels of risk in activity, indoors being riskier than outdoors and attendance at large gatherings increasing one’s risk of potential coronavirus exposure.  I’d like to caution Baltimore City residents to remain vigilant, keep 6 feet of distance when around others, wear your face covering over your nose and mouth, avoid being in indoor settings around others, not in your household, for prolonged periods of time and avoid large crowds.”

Mayor Young is also extending the moratorium on permits for large gatherings through the end of September.

“I’m pleased that Mayor Young is reopening our local restaurants for indoor service,” said Colin Tarbert, President & CEO, Baltimore Development Corporation. “The pandemic has been crushing for our restaurants. Allowing for limited indoor dining is a step in the right direction to help keep them going during this time of distress. Baltimore needs to remain open for business.”

“Today’s announcement is a reflection of the difficult choices COVID-19 is forcing us, as a community, to make,” said Shelonda Stokes, President, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Co-Chair, COVID-19 Small Business Task Force. “The evolution of the disease and its economic impact continues to escalate. To ease the burden, Downtown Partnership has shifted many of our initiatives to support the restaurant & retail community by providing information and initiatives to access relief funds, create new outdoor dining space, and stimulate sales.”

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
Filed in: Business, Dining
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