Gov. Larry Hogan announced the removal of many of the restrictions imposed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Talbot County is following suit.
Citing improving public health metrics, Hogan lifted capacity limits on indoor and outdoor dining, retail stores, religious facilities, fitness centers, personal services, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, and skating rinks. The removal of restrictions begins at 5 p.m. Friday, March 12.
- Capacity limits on indoor and outdoor dining, retail stores, religious facilities, fitness centers, personal services, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, and skating rinks will be lifted effective 5 p.m. today.
- Restaurants and bars remain limited to seated and distanced (six-foot distancing) service only.
- Large indoor and outdoor venues may begin operating at 50% capacity, which includes conference and wedding venues, concert venues, conventions, theaters, racing facilities and sporting venues.
- Medical adult day care centers may reopen at facilities able to set restrictions and safety measures.
- Maryland residents who travel out of state are no longer required to quarantine upon return, though the Maryland Department of Health continues to advise getting tested upon return.
- A statewide mask mandate remains in place.
- All licenses, permits, and registrations issued by Talbot County that would have expired during the Governor’s State of Emergency prior to June 30 are automatically extended through June 30, 2021.
The statewide order to wear masks remains in place, as do physical distancing requirements and other safety protocols for indoor and outdoor businesses and venues where groups may gather.
“We will follow the governor’s orders,” Talbot County Council President Chuck Callahan said. “But we want to remind people that the pandemic is not over yet, and people should continue to use safe practices.”
Talb0t County’s case numbers are now at the lowest rate since mid-November and the vaccine rollout is continuing. County Health Officer Dr. Maria Maguire said Talbot County residents have been eager to receive the vaccine, which is very encouraging. Some 25.8% of the county’s population has received the first dose of the vaccine, currently the highest percentage in the state, and 15.8% are fully vaccinated.
“The decrease in case rates we’re currently seeing and the high vaccination rates in our county residents is very good news, but we are not out of the woods yet,” Maguire said.
“We continue to monitor for the more dangerous genetic variants of the virus and strongly recommend mask wearing and social distancing, even for those who have been fully vaccinated,” she said. “The removal of some restrictions makes it even more important to be diligent about following these protective measures so that we continue the encouraging trajectory we are now on.”
Especially important to businesses is the governor’s amended order on licensing. All licenses, permits, and registrations issued by Talbot County that would have expired prior to June 30 are automatically extended through June 30, 2021.
“The county intends to follow the governor’s order and will process license renewals with June 30, 2021, as the date by which an affected license must be renewed,” says Acting County Attorney Anthony Kupersmith. “Deadlines governing license renewal applications set forth in the Talbot County Code will be adjusted to coincide with the June 30, 2021, expiration date.”
For additional details about your particular license, contact the county office that issued the license.