Baltimore City to Loosen COVID Restrictions, Indoor Dining To Resume at 50%

| March 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

Office of Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott press release: 

This afternoon, Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa announced that Baltimore City will further ease its COVID-19 mandates following consultation with public health partners and sustained improvements in public health data. Restriction modifications will take effect at 6:00 a.m. ET on Friday, March 26, 2021, four weeks since the Mayor’s current mandates were enacted.

“I am proud of our residents for putting in the hard work that has set us on this path to recovery,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As we begin to regain a sense of normalcy within our communities, my administration, in conjunction with our Health Department and hospital partners will begin reevaluating our COVID-19 mandates on a bi-weekly basis and hopefully continue on this positive recovery trend we are seeing in our city.”

The following changes will take effect at 6:00 a.m. ET on Friday, March 26, 2021:

  • Health Indicator Assessment Period: Will decrease from every four weeks to a reevaluation every two weeks.
  • Gatherings: Gatherings will need to comply with any relevant capacity based upon the space in which they are located.
  • Religious Facilities: Increased to 50 percent of maximum occupancy.
  • Retail Establishments and Malls: Increased to 50 percent of maximum occupancy.
  • Indoor Recreational Establishments: All indoor recreation sites, except hookah/cigar lounges, will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Hookah and cigar lounges are allowed to operate their retail spaces at 50 percent capacity, but no smoking is allowed on site.
  • Outdoor Recreational Establishments: Limited to 50 percent of maximum occupancy.
  • Organized Amateur Sports: Allowed with certain guidelines in place.
  • Fitness Centers: Increased to 50 percent of maximum occupancy. Fitness classes are allowed — 10 person limit or 25 percent capacity, whichever is greater. Social distancing and masks required.
  • Casinos: Increased to 50 percent of maximum occupancy. Dining areas allowed to remain open, following the requirements of food service establishments.
  • Libraries: Increased to 50 percent maximum occupancy.
  • Museums, Zoos, Aquariums: Increased to 50 percent of maximum occupancy
  • Foodservice Establishments: Outdoor dining can resume at 75 percent capacity. If space is tented, the tent needs to be open on all sides. Indoor dining can resume at 50 percent capacity. Bars without food licenses are also allowed to operate — 75 percent outdoors, 50 percent indoors.
    • All food service establishments must continue to keep a log of contact information for patrons and staff for contact tracing purposes.
  • Personal Services: Increased to 50 percent of maximum occupancy.
    • Staff must wear face coverings at all times while indoors.
    • Services must be provided on an appointment-only basis, and a log must be kept of names of customers, staff providing services, and other residents who enter the shop.
  • Theaters and Outdoor Entertainment Venues: Live streaming of performances is allowed. Exemption for mask order on performers for live and live-streamed performances with appropriate mitigation barriers in place.
    • Indoor theaters are limited to the lesser of 50 percent occupancy or 100 persons.
    • Outdoor entertainment venues are limited to the lesser of 75 percent occupancy or 250 persons.

“Our metrics have dropped dramatically since the peak of the holiday surge, and we are starting to see larger and larger numbers of City residents obtain their vaccinations,” Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said. “Reviewing the restrictions at more frequent time intervals will allow us to rapidly adjust as needed based on the data. In the meantime, we need residents to continue doing their part as we reopen businesses – wear your masks, practice social distancing, and get your vaccine when you’re eligible to do so.”

“It is clear that our city remains ahead of the spread of COVID-19, but we must continue to do our part,” continued Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As the continued ease of restrictions is justified by our public health indicators, my administration remains unwavered in doing the right thing over the popular. I encourage Baltimoreans to remain serious about this pandemic and continue to wear their masks and adhere to our public health guidelines so that we can continue to see positive outcomes within our communities.”

The Mayor’s Executive Order will be available online by the end of the week.

About the Author:

News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
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