PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland State Police will be on the lookout for people violating Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders. But if you’re confused about what that actually means, the agency more clearly explained what they are looking for, so you know what is and what is not allowed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order Monday morning redefining what essential activities are and which businesses can still operate during the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland.

The state has ordered that each law enforcement officer or political subdivision will execute and enforce this order, and anyone who “knowingly and willfully violates this order is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

“The goal is to keep people safe and save lives,” said Ron Snyder with Maryland State Police.

If convicted, they could be imprisoned no more than one year or a fine “not exceeding $5,000 or both.”

“No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it’s for an essential job or an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes,” Hogan said in a press conference Monday.

For those who are driving to and from places, a trooper will not make traffic stops simply to ask drivers where they’re going to see if their travel is essential or not.

However, “in the course of the regular performance of his/her duties,” such as during a crash investigation or a regular traffic stop, the trooper learns information that indicates the individual is engaged in non-essential travel, enforcement action can be taken.


In Baltimore, police commissioner Michael Harrison said he’s sent officers a detailed memo on how to break up crowds. He said officers are working around the clock to make sure people are complying with the executive order.

“The aim is to increase visibility and compliance with the governor’s executive orders and recommendations from public health officials,” Harrison said. “We will continue to respond to calls from residents for enforcement with the governor’s executive orders.”

State police also said while it’s not necessary for Maryland drivers to have documentation about the purpose of travel, having it with you might resolve questions from police about your travel.

They remind citizens that the “stay at home” executive order doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to leave the house. You can go to the store to get groceries or prescriptions, seek medical attention at an urgent care facility, get cleaning or laundry supplies or necessities for your pets or livestock.

If you’re wondering what is specifically deemed “essential,” we’ve broken it down for you here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner

Comments (4)
  1. Lynn Meehan says:

    soon they will have traffic stops as they have for drunk driving….I go out looking for food and TP…as I havent found esentials in over a month…having to borrow till I can replace it…maybe they should look at the hoarders…who needs a garage full of toilet paper? Food that cannot fit in the freezer or cabinets, while others have hardly any?…Friday is the 3rd of the month…what is going to happen when people go out to replenish when their SS checks are deposited….???

  2. J.R Coker says:

    Just like the seat belt law. When it was first implemented they wouldn’t pull you over unless there was “another” reason of which they always found. When the police start pulling you over to ask where you are going and you accept that….YOU JUST GAVE UP YOUR FREEDOMS!!!!

  3. Eddie Van Halen says:

    Just like guns laws the minority idiots hurt the majority – and guess what the ones who were not obeying are still not going to obey. Every law abiding responsible person who contributes to a productive society was already doing what they were asked to do. It is the outliers. The radicals in all sects of society and the animals in urban areas. Going to be difficult to enforce when you are sending people home from jail as it is. Think they will pay the fine or just failure to appear? The problem is not coronavirus it is any number of issues the root cause of why it gets worse always comes back to the same thing. Stupid people.

  4. Sir Wake up says:

    if you give up your freedoms, for any reason, dont expect to get them back

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