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Howard County extends outdoor dining

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Wednesday announced the introduction of emergency legislation to extend outdoor dining until Nov. 15 for restaurants and bars that added or expanded that service during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo)

ELLICOTT CITY – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Wednesday announced the introduction of emergency legislation to extend outdoor dining until Nov. 15 for restaurants and bars that added or expanded that service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, Ball announced a new Temporary Use Permit for outdoor table service that allowed bars and restaurants to create or expand their outdoor seating while indoor dining capacity limits were in place.

More than 60 restaurants applied for the permits. The Temporary Use Permit, however, is tied to the county’s state of emergency, which is set to expire at the same time as the state’s emergency order on Aug. 15.

Ball also announced his administration is working on a process to allow some of the restaurants to make their outdoor seating permanent. More information on that process will be available in the coming weeks.

Last week, the Howard County Board of License Commissioners voted unanimously to allow restaurants, bars and taverns in the county to continue to sell to-go alcoholic beverages. The policy allows alcoholic beverages, including cocktails and mixed drinks, to be available for carryout or delivery from licensed establishments through at least June 30, 2023.