Elrich Proposes Tightening Some COVID-19 Restrictions

County Executive Marc Elrich has introduced a revised Executive Order 122-20, COVID-19 Local Order that would roll back recent loosening of restrictions designed to lessen the spread of COVID-19.

The revisions come in response to a recent spike locally and elsewhere in the number of COVID-19 cases.

One of the principal changes reduces the allowed indoor capacity at shops and restaurants from 50% to 25%. The reduced occupancy would also apply to bowling alleys, fitness centers, museum and art galleries, personal service businesses and religious facilities.

In addition, escape rooms would be allowed to operate with a maximum of six people per room.

The order further specifies that restaurants “may not sell or provide alcohol to anyone after 10 pm and that all alcohol must be collected from patrons by 10 p.m.” This clarification is in reaction to complaints that establishments were selling large amounts of alcohol to customers just before 10, after which they could continue drinking much later, according to the County Council’s staff report on the order.

Establishments that have not been cited or closed within the last 60 days could still apply for a Late Night Alcohol Sales Permit. That permit would allow alcohol sales up until midnight.

The County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, must approve the revised order. The council was scheduled to discuss it and hold a public hearing at a meeting today.

The original effective date would have been Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. However, council has postponed the vote until next week.

Image from Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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