All capacity restrictions on dining, entertainment, and sports venues to be lifted.
Restaurants and entertainment venues, both indoors and outdoors, have the green light to operate at 100% this weekend. In a press conference on May 12, Governor Larry Hogan said health metrics have improved enough to allow restaurants and venues like casinos, stadiums, and event spaces to operate without capacity limits.
The cruise terminal in Baltimore City will also welcome cruise ships in the coming days. The next step is to lift the mask mandate, which could be lifted as soon as the state reaches a 70% vaccination rate for adults.
A couple of weeks ago, restaurants were bumped up to 50% capacity, with many restaurants continuing to use expanded outdoor seating. It’s unclear if officials will allow it to continue, especially in areas where the seating encroaches on city streets. Patrons will be still be required to wear masks indoors until the mask mandate is lifted.
Sports and entertainment venues, convention centers, and casinos will also be allowed to return to full operation. The Preakness Stakes is slated to run on Saturday at 10% capacity. So far, the racetrack has no plans to increase capacity for the popular May event. The Baltimore Ravens and Washington Football Team have both stated they plan to be at full capacity this fall, and Orioles fans are patiently waiting for a team announcement on expanding capacity for the rest of the summer season.
To help restaurants and hospitality businesses hire more staff, Governor Hogan announced plans to reinstate work requirements by the end of June for people receiving unemployment benefits. More than 10 states have decided to stop paying extra weekly federal unemployment benefits to encourage people to return to work. Governor Hogan said he is not in favor of canceling the extra benefits because Maryland has a lower unemployment rate and a higher cost of living than states choosing to reduce those benefits.
Where's the first place you'll go on May 15? Share in the comments.