Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young Announces Reopening of Retail Businesses

BALTIMORE, MD.  — Today, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced that nonessential retail businesses can reopen beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12, with limits on capacity. Mayor Young issued the following statement:

“I want to thank all of our small businesses for their patience and their commitment to keeping our residents – their customers – healthy,” Mayor Young said. “After consulting with Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa and our public health experts, I am confident that this step is the right one, based on the data and trends we are seeing in Baltimore.”

Nonessential retail businesses will be allowed to open with restrictions in place to ensure social distancing. The total number of persons permitted in a retail establishment at any one time shall not exceed 50% of that retail establishment's maximum occupancy. 

“Baltimore City has a denser population and more residents with underlying chronic diseases than other parts of Maryland,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. “We are moving cautiously, and taking into account the health and safety of our residents, as we slowly reopen. Today’s announcement about the reopening of businesses should raise everyone's levels of vigilance, and businesses should make every effort to keep their employees and their customers safe”. 

"Baltimore City has communicated that it is not yet ready to reopen bars, casinos, and major indoor events in the near future. We agree with this caution,” said Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Deputy Director, Anita Cicero, and former Maryland Secretary of Health and Bloomberg School of Public Health Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein. “The risk of viral spread is greatest with people in close proximity indoors. It makes sense to move forward one step at a time, while building up the public health capacity to test, contact trace, isolate, and quarantine."

With this new announcement, the following activities are now permitted:

  • Retail Businesses – open for retail, with a max of up to 50% capacity.
  • Barbershops and hair salons – by appointment only, with up to 5 people allowed inside per 1,000 square feet, for hair services only. All other services and salons not specifically named in the order are to remained closed. After providing services to each customer, appropriate cleaning will need to take place per CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidelines.
  • Faith-based gatherings – faith-based organizations of up to 50 people can worship in tented outdoor services. Fees for tent permits will be waived for exempt religious institutions during COVID restrictions, and Fire and Building inspections will be available within 48 hours of application. As a condition of the permit, congregants will be required to practice social distancing and wear face coverings. Virtual worship is still strongly encouraged at this time.
  • The Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar produced by Baltimore’s Office of Promotion & the Arts will open for its 43rd season on Sunday, June 14 at 7 a.m. with restrictions. It will open as a food resource only, and a limited number of people will be allowed to shop at any one time.
  • Childcare – childcare can open with limits of up to 10 people per room.
  • Restaurants – as previously announced, restaurants can serve customers through outdoor seating. Restaurant licensees who would like to add outdoor seating can apply through the City’s e-permit website.
  • Summer camps – camps will be allowed to reopen, with limited capacity of up to 10 people per room for indoor activities and up to 50 people for outdoor activities. Baltimore City Recreation and Parks will offer a new BMORE Summer Fun experience – residents can register online.
  • Enoch Pratt Free Library – beginning on June 15, Pratt library branches will begin offering Sidewalk Service, a contact-free way for customers to pick up books, DVDs, CDs, and other library materials. Branches offering this service can be found here.
  • Construction sites – construction sites can reopen with appropriate safeguards in place.
  • Hotels and accommodations – hotels and accommodations can reopen with appropriate safeguards in place.

Mayor Young will provide another update on Tuesday, June 16th. Should the data continue to support gradual reopening at that time, Dr. Dzirasa will make a recommendation to the Mayor that the City should move to the Phase 2 reopening plan effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19, to include limited indoor seating for restaurants. 

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