Wednesday, January 20, 2021
William Carter, WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has announced the lifting of some dining restrictions in Baltimore City.
Scott said that beginning Friday at 6 a.m., restaurants will be able to host a 50% capacity for outdoor dining and 25% capacity for indoor dining with a one-hour limit per party.
“The reopening of outdoor dining and limited indoor dining comes with the reminder that these are still locations where masking — one of the best ways to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus — cannot be maintained at all times,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said.
Restaurants will be required to take down contact information for all diners in the event of an outbreak, she said.
NEW: #Baltimore @MayorBMScott says restaurants/bars can resume service for outdoor dining at 50% – indoor dining at 25% – mandates begin Friday at 6 PM – cites the city being ‘past the holiday spike’ in #coronavirus cases @wbalradio
— Phil Yacuboski (@WBALPhil) January 20, 2021
“The mayor’s announcement today will give the foodservice industry a fighting chance to overcome the financial hardships brought on by this pandemic and hopefully prevent further restaurant closures,” Marshall Weston, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, said in a statement. “Restaurants and bars are looking forward to bringing thousands of employees back to work and will continue to offer a safe environment for in-person dining.”
Restaurateurs sued to block the dining ban but a city judge denied a preliminary injunction.
Other new mandates set to take effect at 6 a.m. Friday include:
Gym classes permitted — socially distanced with masks required — and limited to 10 people
Indoor recreation sites (except adult entertainment and hookah and cigar lounges) can reopen at 25% capacity
Hookah and cigar lounges can open retail sales at 25% capacity but they must remain closed to on-site consumption
Streaming of live performances will be permitted at entertainment venues
Outdoor gatherings remain at the 25-person limit and indoor gatherings remain at the 10-person limit