Indoor dining, sports practice, more: Anne Arundel Co. loosening restrictions Friday

Anne Arundel County, Maryland, will ease some restrictions for many businesses as COVID-19 health metrics show promise, and some that were shuttered entirely may open their doors to limited capacity starting Friday.

After saying he would a day earlier, County Executive Steuart Pittman signed Executive Order 42 on Wednesday amid a decline in coronavirus cases in the county and across the state.

The slight relaxing of pandemic restrictions is effective noon Friday.

Businesses and services that were operating at 25% capacity — such as restaurants, retail and places of worship — can move to 50% capacity. Movie theaters, pool halls, bingo halls and other businesses that were closed under the current restrictions will be able to operate at 25% capacity.

Organized sports competitions can resume starting Feb. 8.

The county has seen two straight weeks of declining case numbers, which is the longest downward trend of cases since August. Hospitalizations have also started to drop.

Pittman, however, still urged residents to remain vigilant by following public health protocols, such as wearing face masks and maintaining physical distance.

Here’s what’s part of the new executive order (see a full list here):

  • Personal services businesses, such as hair and nail salons, and barbershops, can increase capacity to 50% of that establishment’s maximum occupancy
  • Religious facilities can increase to 50% capacity; outdoor services can be held on recognized religious holidays with a cap of 250 people, and public health protocols must be followed
  • Retail can increase to 50% capacity
  • Food service spots located in indoor shopping mall food courts can reopen
  • Food service businesses can also increase indoor dining capacity to 50%; outdoor dining is allowed as long as 50% of the tent sides remain up
  • Organized sports practice and skills sessions are allowed as long as athletes wear face masks at all times; at indoor facilities, the maximum number of participants and coaches in an activity area is 15 people
  • Fitness centers can increase to 50% capacity with at least 100 square feet between participants; all staff and customers must wear face coverings at all times
  • Casinos can increase to 50% capacity; live call bingo halls and pool halls are permitted to open at 25% of maximum capacity
  • Bowling alleys, roller rinks and indoor ice rinks can increase to 50% capacity
  • Indoor theaters, including movie theaters, and outdoor performance venues can open at 25% of maximum capacity
  • Outdoor sporting venues can open at 25% of maximum capacity
  • Cigar and hookah lounges, and adult entertainment venues, can open at 25% of maximum capacity

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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