Baltimore To Loosen Restrictions To Half Capacity For Most Businesses
by Emily Sullivan
Published March 17 in WYPR
Excerpt: Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott announced eased coronavirus pandemic restrictions Wednesday. They are to go into effect next week.
The new set of restrictions are stricter than statewide guidelines announced by Gov. Larry Hogan last week.
On March 26, the city will allow indoor dining to operate at 50% capacity and outdoor dining at 75% capacity. Religious facilities, retail businesses, museums, libraries, spas, barber shops, salons, indoor and outdoor recreation, gyms and casinos may operate at 50% capacity.
Fitness classes have a cap of 10 people or 25% room capacity, whichever is greater. Social distancing and masks are required.
Indoor theaters are limited to 50% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less. Outdoor entertainment venues are limited to 75% occupancy or 250 people, whichever is less.
Hookah and cigar lounges may operate at 50% capacity, but no smoking is allowed on site.
“We will continue to analyze the data and lean on the expert direction of our healthcare partners,” Scott said.
The relaxed restrictions fall after St. Patrick’s Day, which has had Scott’s team on high alert. City COVID-19 rates saw spikes after other holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s Day.