COVID restrictions are being eased in Maryland this weekend. Here’s what you need to know.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan held a news conference Wednesday announcing loosened coronavirus restrictions.

The Republican governor even said it might be feasible to ditch masks across the state soon if Marylanders continue to get vaccinated.


“There is simply no excuse for putting off your vaccination any longer,” Hogan said.

Here’s what you need to know:


Can I get rid of my mask yet?

If individuals are outdoors, it is no longer required to wear a mask unless it is a concert venue, professional team stadium or convention facility. Masks are still required in indoor public spaces.

However, once at least 70% of adults in the state get at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Hogan said Maryland will lift the indoor mask requirement. According to the state’s data, Maryland recently surpassed having 65% of adults with at least one shot.

Are restaurants still under any restrictions?

Beginning Saturday, restaurants and bars will also be able to resume normal operations, including allowing people to stand in bar areas. Tables will no longer need to be spaced 6 feet apart, and barriers between booths can come down.

Did the governor loosen any other restrictions?

Indoor and outdoor venues — including concert venues, convention facilities and professional team stadiums — will be allowed to resume normal operations and operate at full capacity, though mask rules apply for the time being.

Did he announce anything else?

Hogan also said the cruise terminal in Baltimore will be allowed to reopen Saturday, and cruise companies are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to resume trips.

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Additionally, the governor directed the state Department of Labor to work with federal officials on reinstating a requirement that people receiving unemployment benefits must actively look for a job. That requirement was suspended early in the pandemic.

Is Maryland going to start vaccinating 12- 15-year-olds?

The state has been preparing to vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds, now that the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for younger children in the United States. As of Thursday, vaccination locations in Maryland will be ready to serve this group of children.

Do jurisdictions still have control over putting stronger restrictions in place?

Local governments have the authority to keep stricter restrictions in place. And individual businesses can require masks for employees and customers, even once the statewide mask order is lifted.


Earlier Wednesday, Mayor Brandon Scott, a Democrat, announced a rolling back of restrictions in Baltimore, which has maintained stricter limits than those set by the state.

Starting Monday, city restaurants, stores and houses of worship can open at full capacity. Some other establishments, including live performance venues, movie theaters, convention facilities and banquet halls, will be limited to 50%. The Orioles are holding for now at their voluntary 25% capacity cap at Camden Yards.

Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard counties said they are following the state’s new guidance.

Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.