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The Covid-19 Pandemic

by Fern Shen3:07 pmFeb 17, 20210

Scott relaxes dining restrictions, noting the coronavirus caseload is dropping

City lifts the one-hour restriction on dining, limits indoor dining to 25% of capacity and outdoor dining to 50% of capacity

Above: Mayor Brandon Scott speaks earlier this month on the Covid crisis. (CharmTV)

If you’re going into restaurants these days, feel free to linger over dessert – the one-hour limit on dining that Mayor Brandon Scott put in place last month is gone.

Scott announced the decision today, and further relaxed other coronavirus restrictions, citing a declining Covid-19 caseload in Baltimore.

On January 20, he had issued an order allowing restaurants to reopen, setting a limit of no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Today he said the restrictions would be based on capacity. Indoor dining will be limited to 25% of capacity. Outdoor dining will be restricted to 50%.

Patrons will still have to fill out sign-in sheets upon entering, in case contract tracing is needed.

The new rules take effect at 6:00 a.m., Monday, February 22.

“Very Optimistic”

As always, Scott began his remarks with an update on the city’s coronavirus numbers.

“We had a 48% decrease [in cases] from one month ago, our positivity rate is down 50% from one month ago,” Scott said at a news conference outside the War Memorial Building.

“We are very optimistic about our trends – Baltimore city continues to be heading in the right direction,” he said.

According to a statement from Scott’s office, the changes taking effect on Monday include:

Gatherings: All gatherings must comply with any relevant occupancy based upon the space in which they are located.

Food Service Establishments, Bars and Breweries: The one-hour max time limit is removed. Restaurants must continue to maintain a sign-in/sign-out sheet for both patrons and staff.

Fitness: Gym classes are permitted at 25% occupancy or 10 people, whichever is higher.

Live Performances: Live performances are permitted as long as performers wear masks and adhere to social distancing. Note: Adult entertainment remains prohibited at this time.

Organized Sports: Organized amateur sports events, including high school, youth, and/or recreational games, clinics, skills sessions, scrimmages and practices, are permitted in accordance with the dates and guidance from the Department of Recreation and Parks. Sports events with teams from outside of Maryland are prohibited. Face coverings should be worn by all participants engaged in the field of play and by everyone present. Indoor amateur sports events are limited to 25% occupancy, provided there are no more than 50 people per activity area.

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