What businesses can stay open in Maryland?

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered all nonessential businesses closed in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

So, what is considered essential and nonessential? It’s a long list, available here, but WTOP has compiled the highlights.

Most importantly, essential businesses in the food and agriculture sector are exempted from the order and will remain open including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Farmers markets
  • Convenience stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Institutional food service and supply businesses
  • Farms
  • Food manufacturing and processing businesses
  • Pet supply stores and veterinary hospitals
  • And companies that manufacture, sell and maintain farm equipment and paper goods

Restaurants can stay open, but only for takeout and delivery.

Gas stations, pharmacies, hospitals, doctor’s offices, rehab facilities and home health care companies will also remain in business.

“Companies that sell supplies and materials for maintenance of commercial and residential buildings, including ‘big box’ home improvement supply stores, plumbing distributors, electrical distributors, and HVAC distributors” will also stay open.

Banks, lenders, payroll and payment processing companies, security and investment companies, and accounting and bookkeeping firms can stay open.

Airlines and airports, railroads, trucking companies, and automotive supply stores and repairs shops will remain open.

Broadcasting companies, cable TV companies, phone companies and internet services providers will also stay open.

Laundromats, dry cleaners, commercial and residential construction companies, self-storage facilities, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, landscapers and lodging facilities are also all exempt.

Stay-at-home order issued

On March 30, 2020, Gov. Hogan issued a stay-at-home order directing all Marylanders to remain their homes with several exceptions. Essential businesses remain unaffected under the order.

Read the full order here.

Maryland order requires face masks inside all stores

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has issued an executive order requiring Marylanders to wear masks or face coverings inside grocery stores and other retailers throughout the state and on any form of public transportation.

The order also requires store employees to wear face coverings.

The order goes into effect Saturday, April 18, at 7 a.m.

Here is a video on how to make your own coronavirus face mask, no sewing required.

In addition to public transportation, the order applies to grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, restaurants and other food-service establishments, home goods stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and laundromats.

“While this order is an important step in our immediate efforts to protect public health and safety, the wearing of masks is also something that we may all have to become more accustomed to in order to safely reopen our state,” Hogan said at a news conference Wednesday.

Several Maryland counties, including Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, have already put in place rules requiring customers to wear masks inside stores.

More Coronavirus News


Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up