Eateries can offer outdoor dining beginning Friday

Mogan’s Oyster House in Downtown Salisbury.

Restaurants and civic groups that offer outdoor dining and other activities will be allowed to resume at 5 p.m. Friday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has announced.

Hogan’s move came in response to progress in the state’s step-by-step reopening process amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Over the past two weeks, we have been encouraged by the successful Stage One reopenings all across the state and by the improvements in important data and metrics statewide,” Hogan said. “All of this progress allows us to now safely move forward with the completion of Stage One of our recovery plan.”

Social organizations such as American Legions, VFWs, and Elks Clubs will be able to begin safely reopening for outdoor dining, following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA and the National Restaurant Association.

“We are also strongly encouraging local leaders to find innovative ways to help support our local restaurants,” the governor said.

Also effective at 5 p.m. Friday, many other outdoor activities will be able to safely resume, including youth sports activities and outdoor activities at youth day camps with safety measures in place for staff and participants.

Outdoor pools may also reopen with strict safety guidelines, and drive-in movie theaters will be able to safely reopen. Detailed information and guidelines regarding these additional reopenings is now available at

“Our Coronavirus Recovery Team will be continuing to watch all of the data very closely, and if these encouraging trends continue into next week, we would then be in a position to begin entering Stage Two of our recovery by allowing other non-essential businesses to begin reopening,” Hogan said.

“Though we continue to make great progress toward recovery, Covid-19 is still very much a deadly threat, and our responsible behavior is absolutely critical in the continued efforts to defeat it,” he continued. “Thankfully, the vast majority of our citizens clearly understand that while doing things like avoiding crowds, practicing distancing, and wearing masks may be inconvenient, these are some of the best tools we have to continue to slow the spread of this virus, to put us in a position to rebuild and restore our economy, and to finally defeat this invisible enemy.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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