LUTHERVILLE-TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — For the first time in over a year, Maryland restaurants and businesses could open on Saturday without masks and other pandemic restrictions.

“It’s a great day for us. We’ve been waiting for this for 14 months,” said Kirk Kacala, a manager at Hightopps Backstage Grille in Lutherville-Timonium.

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Capacity limits have been lifted and masks are no longer required in most settings, much to the excitement of some dining out on Saturday night.

“I jumped up and down and did 13 flips. I texted everybody I knew!” said Brian Schwablina.

Masks are still required on public transportation, in schools and in child care and health care settings.

Local jurisdictions and businesses can also still require masks, if they choose to.

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“We’re opting to keep masks on for now while we kind of get used to everything, wrap our heads around it,” said Kohli Flick, the owner of the store Becket Hitch at Green Spring Station. “Obviously we know children under 12 can’t be vaccinated. We have a ton of kids that shop with us.”

Some said they had mixed feeling about taking down their masks.

“I was both elated and concerned,” said Connie Tinkham. “Just because there’s so much that isn’t known about this virus or about the vaccine so it just raises a little bit of concern.”

Masks are still required in Baltimore City both indoors and at outdoor venues.

The Maryland Department of Health has also issued a public health advisory strongly recommending that non-vaccinated individuals over the age of 2 continue to wear masks indoors and in outdoor settings where social distancing cannot be maintained.

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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.

Stetson Miller