Maryland to lift capacity restrictions, keep mask mandate
Maryland is lifting many of its coronavirus restrictions, including capacity limits on stores, gyms and restaurants, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Tuesday.
Large outdoor spaces such as stadiums and racing facilities, as well as indoor businesses including theaters, live music venues, wedding venues and conference centers will operate at 50 percent capacity, Hogan said.
The state will keep its mask mandate, so face coverings will be required for all indoor facilities open to the public, the public-facing areas of businesses, as well as on mass transit.
Businesses will still be required to maintain physical distancing. That means while bars and restaurants can operate at full capacity, people will need to be seated six feet apart, and will not be allowed to stand and crowd together in a bar.
“The very simple step of wearing masks continues to be the best single mitigation strategy we have to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Hogan said at a press conference.
Local jurisdictions have been allowed to keep stricter rules in place than the state, and while that won’t change, the governor said he thinks counties should follow the state policy.
The new order lifting restrictions will take effect at 5 p.m. Friday.