BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young released updated guidance for city businesses and religious institutions as restaurants will be allowed to reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity Friday evening. Some restrictions were also tightened for businesses.

Young had closed indoor dining two weeks ago after a spike of coronavirus cases were reported in the city.

Mayor Young’s updated executive order includes the following:

  • Indoor dining: Restaurant dining rooms must close at 10:00 p.m. A restaurant’s kitchen is permitted to remain open past 10:00 p.m. to serve carryout and for outdoor dining only.
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings: Capped at 25 people.
  • Indoor gatherings at event venues: capped at 25 people or 25% occupancy, whichever is lower. If the venue has multiple event spaces, the 25 person/25% occupancy limit applies separately to each space within the venue, as long as the collective occupancy does not exceed 25% of the venue.
  • Religious facilities: Capped at 25% of occupancy only.
  • Retail establishments and malls: Capped at 25% of occupancy only.
  • Indoor Recreation Establishments: Capped at 25% of occupancy only.

Baltimore Indoor Dining, Gatherings Reopening Friday At 25% Capacity, Tightens Some Restrictions

Restaurants may reopen in Baltimore City for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity with social distancing and face coverings when not eating or drinking. Outdoor gatherings must be capped at 25 people.

Indoor recreation establishments include 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.

In this executive order “gathering” is defined as an assembly or meeting, especially a “social or festive one for a specific purpose,”

The order takes effect Friday, August 7, at 5 p.m.

Mayor Jack Young said in a statement Thursday that he has chosen to act to protect “the financial wellbeing of our city and our residents,” and that Congress’ “inability to come to an agreement to provide relief and support” has forced his hand.

He said the reopening doesn’t mean residents are in the clear relating to the pandemic, but that he wants to support residents facing “extreme financial hardships as a result of working in the restaurant and service industry.”

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said residents should remain vigilant, stay six feet apart from others, wearing face coverings and avoid being in indoor settings around others who aren’t in their household for prolonged periods of time.

The moratorium on permits for large gatherings is extended through the end of September.

The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore will provide information and initiatives to help residents and business owners access relief funds, create new outdoor dining space and stimulate sales.

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.

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