Frequently Asked Questions about the Baltimore COVID-19 Executive Orders

What are the new Executive Orders for Baltimore City?

Effective May 15th, Baltimore City will relax all business capacity restrictions, in alignment with the new State of Maryland order. Additionally, until the City reaches a higher level of vaccination, indoor masking and masking at outdoor venues will be required. 

Effective July 1st, Baltimore City has rescinded its previous health orders related to face masking, and residents will no longer be required to wear face masks in public settings, indoors or outdoors, 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the City’s latest Capacity Restrictions mean for my Business? 
Effective May 15th, 2021, all capacity limits have been lifted in Baltimore City, and all businesses can open at 100% capacity. Effective July 1st, Baltimore City has rescinded its previous health orders related to face masking, and residents will no longer be required to wear face masks in public settings, indoors or outdoors,  

Can I still require staff and/or customers to mask when in my establishment?
Yes - at present a business owner may still take precautions and require masking for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people provided the requirement is not discriminatory in its application and the wearer can safely do so. 

Can I prohibit the wearing of masks in my establishment?
No - COVID is still a very real threat and individuals who choose to mask must be allowed to.

Can I now remove all of the social distancing signs and other COVID-preventive controls I have installed?
Yes, but we recommend you keep them in place.  COVID-19 still poses a risk and not all people are vaccinated.

If COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, will there be new orders requiring masking and social distancing again?
We will continue to be driven by data and science.  It is possible there will be additional restrictions put in place if we see worsening of the metrics we use to evaluate including case counts, deaths, positivity, and hospitalizations.  While masking requirements end on 7/1, we encourage all residents that are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated to remain masked around others and to maintain social distancing. 

Can I, as a business owner, require vaccinations for employees?
Please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on requiring vaccinations at the workplace. Additionally, both the CDC and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provide information on vaccination exemption protocols. We also recommend reviewing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 recommended precautions and policies, especially if members of your workforce are unvaccinated.

What about children and vaccines?
Children under 12 years old are not eligible for vaccines yet, though both Pfizer and Moderna are working to develop a vaccine for children under 12 and we hope to hear more about these efforts over the summer. We strongly encourage ALL unvaccinated people to continue to wear a mask indoors and in public.  We know the more interaction with people and the longer the interaction the more likely the virus is to spread. 

  • Children under 12 years should limit interactions with unvaccinated individuals. 
  • Caregivers should get vaccinated and strongly encourage individuals that are around their child to get vaccinated as well. 
  • Families should continue to keep their children away from individuals that are sick, encourage hand washing and social distancing.
  • Visit this website to learn more Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Children | CDC

What guidance can you offer about keeping my children safe in indoor settings, especially if they are not yet eligible to become vaccinated? 
The recommendation for all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals in indoor settings remains that they should be masked.

Does the Baltimore City Health Department recommend that children in schools continue to wear masks? 
BCHD recommends masking for children in school settings, given low to no vaccination coverage
We anticipate more official guidance to be issued by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Department of Health around children in schools soon. The Baltimore City Public Schools System has been working closely with BCHD and their health advisory team to develop policies based on the data and the science. We will continue to work closely with BCPSS as they develop any future policies around masking in schools.

 

Per the CDC's July 9th Update

  • Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask-wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking

Does the Baltimore City Health Department recommend masking for children in daycare settings?
BCHD recommends masking for children in school settings, given low to no vaccination coverage. We anticipate more official guidance to be issued by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Department of Health around children in schools and childcare settings soon.