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Businesses that remain open in Maryland after order to close can be fined $5,000, spend a year in jail

Businesses and individuals who don't follow with Hogan's order to shut down dine-in service could be fined up to $5,000 or spend a year in jail.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Businesses and individuals who don't follow with Gov. Larry Hogan's order to shut down movie theaters, gyms, bars, and dine-in service could be fined up to $5,000 or spend a year in jail.

Hogan announced an executive order Monday morning restricting both public gatherings and business operations due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. State police, as well as local law enforcement agencies, say they will be involved, when needed, to enforce the governor’s executive order in response to the pandemic.

Hogan's order mandated that all businesses shut down dining-in and restrict themselves to carry-out, drive-thru or delivery options only in an effort to minimize gatherings of 50 or more people.

Food trucks, barbershops, salons, and funeral facilities can all remain open, but cannot have gatherings of more than 50 people, according to the executive order. 

Maryland state police said they will be responding to complaints about businesses that do not comply with the order, working with local authorities.

“Depending on the call and location, we will first make contact with the owner or manager of the establishment. If voluntary compliance does not occur, we will take enforcement action, in cooperation with the local state’s attorney,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Cl. Woodrow W. Jones III said.

Jones also said that if the violation at an establishment involves customers or those who have gathered and they don’t leave when asked, they could be arrested.

“If the violation at an establishment or gathering involves customers or simply individuals who have gathered and voluntary compliance has not occurred, appropriate action will be taken that could ultimately result in the arrest of the individuals involved,” Jones said in the statement.

LINKS: Complete Coronavirus Coverage Latest Maryland Numbers Here


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