Frequently Asked Questions about the Baltimore COVID-19 Executive Orders

What are the new Executive Orders for Baltimore City?

On September 8, Mayor Young signed an executive order allowing for added capacity at a number of different types of businesses. Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa's health order requiring face coverings be worn by all residents over the age of 2 remains in place.

When did these new orders go into effect?

The executive order allowing reopening of indoor dining and placing additional restrictions on gatherings goes into effect on Tuesday, September 8, at 5:00pm.

The health order requiring face coverings went into effect on Friday, July 24, at 5:00pm.

COVID-19 Sept. 8 Executive Order guidance

Indoor Dining/Gathering Executive Order Frequently Asked Questions

  • What constitutes a gathering

    • A gathering includes assemblies or meetings - social or festive - for a specific purpose. Types of gatherings include any celebrations, parties, cookouts, barbeques, reunions, or other events likely to involve a large group of people. Gatherings are typically by invitation, such as a wedding or a party at someone’s home. Gatherings may be advertised to the general public, such as a fundraiser or festival and/or they may be ticketed events.
  • What's the limit for the number of people who can attend?

    • Gatherings at locations with a fire code-rated maximum occupancy, the limit is 25% of that occupancy. Gatherings at venues with multiple spaces or rooms for events are limited to 25% of maximum occupancy (based on the fire code) for each space. The number of people in the entire facility cannot exceed 25% of maximum occupancy collectively, among all of the spaces or rooms
    • Outdoor and indoor gatherings at locations without a fire-code rated maximum occupancy are capped at no more than 25 people, and must include enough space to allow people to remain socially distant - at least 6 feet apart.
  • What about indoor recreation venues? 

    • Indoor recreation venues are allowed at up to 50% occupancy.
    • This includes bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller and ice skating rinks, social and fraternal clubs, and indoor areas of any other establishment subject to Marylands admission and amusement tax. 
  • Are indoor bars that do not serve food permitted to reopen?

    • Yes, as long as patrons are seated, with all relevant COVID-19 requirements in place.
  • Are adult entertainment establishments permitted to reopen?

    • Yes, as long as patrons are seated, with all relevant COVID-19 requirements in place.
  • Can a restaurant or food service facility continue outdoor, carry-out, or delivery service after 10pm?

    • Yes, the 10pm cutoff for service from the Aug. 7 Executive Order has been removed.
  • Are employees/staff to be counted toward an establishment's maximum occupancy?

    • Yes, for all venues, facilities, establishments or other spaces with a maximum occupancy requirement, employees, staff and any other person present must be included in the calculation.

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  • Are outdoor summer camps considered gatherings for the purposes of this order?

    • Outdoor summer camps are not considered gatherings for the purposes of this order.
  • Are pools considered gatherings for the purposes of this order?

    • ​​​​​​​Pools are not considered gatherings for the purposes of this order.

Mandatory Masks Health Order Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I wear a face-covering if I’m just walking down the street?

    • You should have a face covering on your person every time you go outside. You should wear your face covering if you are coming into close contact (less than 6 feet) with other people, and you can’t physically distance from them.
    • For example,  you are walking down the street, by yourself. If you can maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times, or if there isn’t anyone else outside, you wouldn’t need to wear a mask. But, if you are walking down the street and there are a lot of people outside and on your chosen walking path, you should absolutely wear your face covering. Wearing a mask will protect you and others, if and when you are not able to properly social distance. 
    • In other words,  “It’s better to have a mask and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”
       
  • How is this any different from the State of Maryland’s Executive Order on Face Coverings?

    • This is an expansion of the current statewide mask order, which requires face coverings be worn on public transportation, in certain outdoor public spaces, in restaurants, and in retail establishments. With this new health order in Baltimore, if you are around other people for any reason, in any setting, you should be wearing a face covering.
       
  • What are some examples of when to wear a face-covering?

    • “Going up the street/around the way”- Keep a face covering in a pocket or bag, put your mask on when you are around others
    • Outdoor solo exercise like walking your dog, running, biking solo, etc. Keep a face covering in a pocket or bag, put your mask on when around others
    • Outdoor team sports/contact sports-mask on!
    • Outdoor group fitness classes- mask on!
    • Grocery shopping- mask on!
    • Any indoor public space- mask on!
    • Outdoor gatherings with others- mask on!

 

  • Are masks required during outdoor youth sports practices and games?

    • Yes, face coverings are required for outdoor youth sports when social distancing cannot be maintained. However, individuals who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability are not required to wear a mask but must comply with social distancing. 

 

  • While I understand this Order is intended for guidance in outdoor spaces what is the guidance for masks in health clubs?

    •  Face coverings must be worn inside fitness centers at all times when a person is not engaging in vigorous exercise.  Face coverings may be removed only if a person is engaged in vigorous exercise and the placement of the exercise equipment and a person’s body while performing the vigorous exercise is such that social distancing (a distance of 6 feet or more between persons) can be achieved.   It is strongly encouraged that any vigorous exercise is done outside when possible.

 

  • Exceptions

    • ​​​Non-public schools, child care facilities ("daycares") and youth camps should continue to follow guidance concerning face coverings issued by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Department of Health

    • DayCares

      • Per the Maryland State Department of Education: “When feasible, children age 5 years and older who can wear a cloth face-covering safely and consistently should wear a cloth face covering while in the child care center or family child care home in accordance with CDC guidance. There are a variety of strategies parents and child care providers can use to assist children with becoming comfortable wearing cloth face coverings. Parents are encouraged to practice these strategies at home to help their child become comfortable with wearing a cloth face-covering prior to the use of a cloth face-covering in the child care setting.