11.20.20 – WBAL – New restrictions took effect at 5 p.m. Friday across Maryland in an effort to stem the rise in coronavirus cases.
Retail stores, organizations, religious institutions, personal services, bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, skating rinks, fitness centers and social clubs, for example, are all capped at 50% capacity again.
Additionally, bars and restaurants are subject to a 10 p.m. curfew, except for takeout. Restaurateurs don’t like the curfew, but most understand that the new restrictions are necessary.
“I’m all for a shutdown. I’m all for doing what needs to be done — wearing masks, sanitizing. I closed my dining room because I know (the virus) has to be beat and we can go on with life,” said Ed Bloom, chef and owner of Ethel’s Creole Kitchen in Mount Washington.
The governor said the new restrictions will be in place until further notice.
Historically, November and December are banner months for the hospitality industry.
“This is the time of year restaurants depend on,” said Marshall Weston, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland.
The Restaurant Association of Maryland knows this year’s activity is not going to be as robust, so its members are pleading for the public’s support.
“The reality is restaurants desperately need customers to patronize them regularly, whether that means dine-in, carryout or buy gift cards,” Weston said. “Even though we have these restrictions and we can’t do what we have normally done, it’s still important and it’s still going to keep people employed and keep restaurants from closing permanently if we all support them.”