Maryland restaurants to resume normal operations Saturday

Interior and Exteriors of the Gertrudes Restaurant at the BMA. MF-D 1/16/07.

Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Beginning Saturday, restaurants and other venues can resume normal operations, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday. (The Daily Record/File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS — Indoor and outdoor venues in Maryland, including restaurants, can resume normal operations this weekend, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.

All remaining capacity and distancing restrictions that have been in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted on indoor and outdoor dining on Saturday.

Indoor and outdoor venues will be able to resume normal operations, Hogan said. Remaining capacity restrictions will be lifted on indoor entertainment venues and conventions, and all outdoor entertainment, art and sports venues, with masking protocols in place.

Hogan also announced the cruise terminal in Baltimore will be reopening. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working directly with cruise ports and industry representatives to prepare for a safe return to business.

The governor said the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted when 70% of Maryland adults receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of Tuesday, the governor’s office says 65% of adults had been vaccinated in Maryland.

Local jurisdictions can choose not to go as far as the governor in lifting restrictions. In Baltimore, Mayor Brandon Scott announced that the city will lift restrictions beginning at 6 a.m. Monday, but not as far as the statewide guidelines will allow.

In Baltimore, capacity restrictions will be lifted for all establishments with exception of three categories that will be limited to 50% capacity They include convention and banquet facilities, including the Baltimore Convention, community halls and social clubs and indoor venues, such as venues with live music or performances, movies or sporting events. Those will be limited to 50% capacity.