ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pressed local leaders to enforce public health requirements, like physical distancing and masks, in bars and restaurants after the state has linked an increasing number of COVID-19 cases to non-compliance.
“The vast majority of bars and restaurants in our state are in compliance, but some are flagrantly violating the law and endangering public health,” Hogan said. “You have the responsibility to enforce these laws. Violators should be warned, fined, have actions taken regarding their licenses, or closed if necessary. Local health departments, local liquor boards, and inspectors, and local law enforcement agencies must work together to ensure public health is protected.”
As of Tuesday, the positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 is now 84% higher than it is for Marylanders 35 and over.
Under Executive Order 20-06-10-01, which was issued on June 10:
- Bars and restaurants are open for seated service only with physical distancing and capacity restrictions. Customers must be seated at least six-feet apart from other guests. Standing and congregating in bar areas is strictly prohibited.
- All staff must wear a face covering while working and interacting with customers.
- For facilities with booths, every other booth must be closed.
- No more than six people may sit at a table.
“Our continued economic health and recovery depend on the active and aggressive local compliance and enforcement of these critical public health measures,” Hogan said. “We cannot allow a small segment of willful violators to squander the collective efforts of the overwhelming majority of Maryland citizens and businesses.”
Maryland reported 733 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday – its highest single-day case count since June 5. The state has been on an upward trend in new cases for more than two weeks, although its percent positivity remains below 5%.