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Alerts and Updates

Maryland Governor to Lift Stay-at-Home Order; Limited Businesses Permitted to Reopen, Subject to Local Orders

May 14, 2020

Maryland Governor to Lift Stay-at-Home Order; Limited Businesses Permitted to Reopen, Subject to Local Orders

May 14, 2020

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Local governments have the authority to retain current restrictions. 

On May 13, 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that effective Friday, May 15, 2020, at 5:00 p.m., he will lift the stay-at-home order that has been in place in the state since March 30, 2020, and will permit certain businesses to reopen with limitations. The announcement marks the launch of stage one of the state’s three-stage recovery plan that Governor Hogan announced on April 24, 2020.

Local governments have the authority to retain current restrictions. Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, for example, have already made it clear that they will not reopen on Friday. Similarly, Baltimore City and Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties have announced that they may not follow the rest of the state in implementing stage one of the recovery plan on Friday, and are expected to announce their precise next steps by Thursday, May 14.

Amended Executive Order Permits Limited Businesses to Reopen with Restrictions, Subject to Local Orders

To effect stage one of the state’s recovery, Governor Hogan has issued an amended and restated executive order that replaces the stay-at-home order. Subject to local orders, under the amended and restated order, effective May 15 at 5:00 p.m.:

  • Retail stores may reopen at up to 50 percent capacity;
  • Manufacturing businesses and facilities may resume operations;
  • Personal services establishments like barbershops and hair salons may open at up to 50 percent capacity and by appointment only; and
  • Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other similar religious facilities may open at up to 50 percent capacity and with appropriate safety protocols; outdoor services are strongly encouraged.

Marylanders must continue to practice physical distancing. They must also continue to wear face coverings (as defined by prior executive order) in indoor public areas, including in personal services, foodservice and retail establishments and when using public transportation.

Businesses are encouraged to sign the Maryland Strong: Back to Business Pledge, which outlines specific steps reopening businesses should take relating to physical distancing, cleaning, and training and education to protect the safety and health of their employees and customers.

Marylanders Will Be Under “Safer at Home” Public Health Advisory

Effective May 15 at 5:00 p.m., the stay-at-home order will be converted to a “safer at home” public advisory. Under the advisory, while Marylanders will no longer be required by law to stay at home, they are strongly encouraged to do so as much as possible. Those who are able to work from home should continue to do so.

Other Restrictions Remain in Place

All other establishments, including bars and restaurants, will remain closed other than for delivery and carryout services. Restrictions on gatherings of larger than 10 people and the closure of nonessential businesses will remain in place.

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help companies plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage. 

For More Information

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Robert B. Hopkins, Carla N. Murphy, Allison M. Midei, any of the attorneys in our Baltimore office, any member of the COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are in regular contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.