The 10 p.m. dining restrictions will be lifted on February 1, 2021.

The next time you dine out you probably won't have to worry about getting chased out at 10 p.m. Governor Larry Hogan announced he is lifting the order that prevented bars and restaurants from serving customers in dining rooms past 10.p.m. The order went into effect just before Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants will still be restricted to no more than 50 percent capacity. Individual counties still have the flexibility to modify operating hours. The order will officially go into effect on Monday, February 1, 2021, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

New metrics show the number of cases is down 42 percent from a high on December 4, 2020. The governor credits restrictions during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays preventing a spike in the new year.

“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,” said Governor Hogan. “Marylanders must continue to remain cautious and vigilant in order to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and healthy.”

cocktails on a bar

Photo by One Shot from Pexels

News of the order being lifted is another wave of relief for the many bars and restaurants struggling around the state. Mayor Brandon Scott has also agreed to lift the 10 p.m. dining ban in the City of Baltimore. The city has endured some of the toughest restrictions in the state, with indoor dining only resumed in the past week. Jimmy’s Famous Seafood created the “Famous Fund” to get relief to local restaurants and has raised more than $300,000 in the past couple of weeks.

Governor Larry Hogan also announced $30 million in funding for restaurant relief in addition to the $50 million funded in October. Restaurants can use the money for ongoing operating expenses as well as items to expand outdoor dining like tents and heaters. Restaurants must apply through local jurisdictions to get approved.

Which restaurant are you going to linger at first? Let us know in the comments.