County Council Sets Parameters for Next Phases of Reopening

The parameters for the next stages of reopening the county have been set now that the County Council has passed an amended health regulation tying loosening restrictions to the percentage of vaccinated residents.

The Fifth Amended Board of Health Regulation went into effect at 5 p.m. yesterday, following a unanimous vote. The county reported Tuesday that 51.2% of the population had received at least one dose of a vaccine, above the 50% the threshold for the next step in reopening under the new regulation.

The changes in activities under the new regulation include:

  • Gathering limits increase to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • Businesses limited to 25 percent capacity move to 50 percent capacity if they do not sell or permit the consumption of food or drink
  • Camps can move to the gathering limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors
  • Escape rooms can allow 10 people per game
  • Museums and galleries may reopen touch exhibits
  • Malls may reopen pedestrian concourses and return tables and chairs inside, and
  • Sports allowed 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors with a similar number of spectators.

The next two milestones permitting additional loosening of the regulations will be 60% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine, and when 50% of the population is fully vaccinated.

The county follows face-covering guidelines from the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health, whichever is stricter, according to a press release. The new regulation provides an exception for sports activities that allows the removal of face coverings during vigorous outdoor exercise for high heat and humidity.

Montgomery County graphic