ANNAPOLIS, Md. — It's happening: Fourteen things reopen for Marylanders after several weeks of forced social distancing under the state's stay-at-home order.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Wednesday that a variety of outdoor activities in the state will be allowed to resume, including reopening state parks and state beaches.
Beyond the new-normal of socially distanced hikes and walks, Marylanders can again enjoy the following outdoor recreational activities beginning at 7 a.m. on May 7:
- Horseback riding
- Recreational boating
The following is also allowed to reopen with local jurisdictions getting the final say on whether they actually do reopen or not:
- Beaches (local jurisdictions may still keep them closed)
- State parks and playgrounds (local jurisdictions may still keep county and city parks closed)
- Sports fields and courts (local jurisdictions may still keep them closed)
- Dog parks (local jurisdictions may still keep them closed)
- Cemeteries for visits (local jurisdictions may still keep them closed)
Also allowed to continue are:
- Elective surgeries
While these activities are again allowed in the state, large gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited, Hogan reiterated Wednesday, and the stay-at-home order remains in effect, meaning any other trip outside your home should be for essential purposes only.
You must still practice social distancing and adhere to safety guidelines while out and about. Wearing a mask while around other people is still recommended. Non-essential businesses not mentioned in this pre-Phase 1 of reopening still remain closed.
Maryland is looking at when the state will officially begin it's the four-phase approach into reopening, the governor said on Wednesday. Hogan also said hospitalizations and ICU rates have plateaued over the past week, and if the state continues to see these numbers for another week, they'll be able to begin Stage 1 of reopening.
Stage 1 would look like this: Maryland lifts the stay at home order and allows the reopening of many small businesses. Other community activities that are low risk would resume. Local governments, like individual counties, can have the flexibility to open up other things, such as parks and playgrounds and libraries with safety protocols in place.
Stage 2: Happens if there is no spike in deaths or sustained spike for ICU cases, as well as no additional significant community transmissions. This would include even more businesses reopening, and non-essential workers who can't rely on teleworking returning back to their jobs.
There would still be limits on social gatherings, but transit schedules like the Metro would return to normal. Indoor religious gatherings would be allowed with limited capacity, and restaurants and bars would be able to reopen with some safety protocols.
Stage 3: More high-risk activities like large social gatherings and high-capacity bars/restaurants would be allowed to open, loosening up restrictions on visits to other places like nursing homes and entertainment venues. Large-scale religious gatherings would also be allowed.
For now, Marylanders can enjoy these new ways to get out of the house. Whether it's the beach or on the green, do so safely with social distancing still in mind.
READ: For a full list of what's changed in the state, read Gov. Hogan's amended order below.
Kyley Schultz is a digital editor at WUSA9, covering everything from DMV politics to house fires and the Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @KyleyBSchultz