The new list of restrictions also impacts gatherings of any type, public or private.
Just one day after he was sworn in as the new Mayor of Baltimore, Brandon Scott is instituting new coronavirus restrictions by executive order. Beginning on Friday, December 11, at 5 p.m., restaurants in Baltimore City will no longer be able to serve diners in dining rooms or outdoors. Scott also announced additional restrictions on gatherings, sports, businesses, zoos, and museums in his first press conference as Mayor. The new restrictions by Mayor Scott are in response to the continuing rise of coronavirus cases in the city.
Under the new restrictions, restaurants will not be able to serve people in indoor or outdoor dining rooms, but can continue with delivery and take-out service. The restrictions will deal an even bigger blow to an industry already decimated by the pandemic. Baltimore City has already dispersed more than $2.8 million in grants to restaurants, bars, and taverns in the city and plans to offer up an additional $6.5 million by next week. The mayor’s order is also targeting gatherings of all types, indoor and outdoor, and any type of family gathering.
“The majority of the cases that we are seeing are from indoor and family gatherings. We need to be even more cautious to keep our loved ones and neighbors from getting sick and dying," said the Mayor. “A safe Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza is better than not having your family member for next year. That’s how serious this is.”
The following restrictions will go into place on Friday at 5 p.m.:
- Indoor gatherings limited to 10 people. This includes public places and private homes.
- Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people.
- All sports related gatherings at city parks and recreation facilities are prohibited.
- Theaters, outdoor and indoor entertainment venues, cigar and hookah bars must close.
- Outdoor recreation sites will be capped at 25 percent capacity.
- Religious facilities will be capped at 25 percent capacity.
- Casinos in the city will be capped at 25 percent and will not be able to serve food or drink.
- Retail stores and malls will be capped at 25 percent capacity.
- Personal service including hair salons will be capped at 25 percent and must keep a log recording the names of customers and staff.
- Fitness centers, museums, the zoo, and aquarium will also be capped at 25 percent capacity.
The mayor is also encouraging people to wear masks, social distance, and avoid traveling for the holidays.