BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore officials confirmed to WJZ that they will follow the governor’s emergency order to lift the 10 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants in the city starting Monday.

Gov. Larry Hogan issued an emergency order Thursday that will allow the change beginning Monday. In making the move, he cited dropping COVID-19 positivity and case rates as well as fewer hospitalizations and new cases.

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“With our data trends showing continued improvement, the holiday surges behind us, and the increasing speed of vaccinations, we are now able to take this step,” Hogan said in a statement. “Marylanders must continue to remain cautious and vigilant in order to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and healthy.”

The city’s order keeps the indoor dining capacity cap for restaurants at 25%, requires diners to be seated and prohibits buffet dining. Outdoor dining is at 50% capacity in the city.

In a statement, the Restaurant Association of Maryland praised the move:

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“Lifting the statewide dining curfew will allow restaurants to accommodate customers later into the dinner hour and provide an opportunity to generate much needed revenue to keep their businesses afloat. Employees will also benefit from the increased work hours and the likelihood that more in person dining will result. We appreciate that Governor Hogan is actively managing this crisis and recognizing that after several weeks of improving COVID metrics that it made sense to lift this restriction.”

Restaurant employees in Federal Hill say the additional hours will help business tremendously.

“Those extra four hours are like prime time,” Ryan Bailey, General Manager of Crossbar, said. “We need the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. hours to survive, really. Especially in these months, it’s tough.”

Hogan also announced that he’s pouring an additional $30 million into the state’s relief program for bars and restaurants. That’s in addition to the $50 million he announced back in October.

In mid-November, Hogan put the 10 p.m. closing in place due to climbing case numbers.

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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CBS Baltimore Staff