Marylanders as of Saturday are no longer required to wear masks in most settings to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday evening.
Earlier this week, the Republican announced that the state is rolling back most other pandemic business restrictions, also effective Saturday. Restaurants and bars can now resume normal operations, including allowing patrons to stand in bar areas, dropping the 6-foot distance between tables and removing barriers between booths.
Indoor and outdoor venues, including concert venues, convention facilities and professional team stadiums can also resume at full capacity.
Here’s what you need to know.
Where am I still required to wear a mask?
Baltimore City will keep local mask requirements indoors and at outdoor venues such as Camden Yards or the Pimlico Race Course, though the city is lifting the capacity restrictions.
Masks are still mandated on public transportation and in schools, airports, day care centers and health care facilities, such as hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Individual businesses can choose to keep mask policies in place.
Who does the order apply to?
Vaccinated and unvaccinated Marylanders can go unmasked everywhere there aren’t tighter local rules in place.
Hogan during the pandemic has left it up to local officials to enact their own more stringent restrictions or follow his lead. Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Harford counties have already said they will follow suit.
Even if I can remove my mask, is it safe?
Hogan’s announcement followed new guidance issued this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said fully vaccinated people could stop social distancing and wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final dose.
Federal health officials did not change guidance for those who are unvaccinated. The CDC recommends that those who are unvaccinated should continue to wear masks in most situations. Being outdoors or spending time outside with a small group of vaccinated individuals is also not considered a serious health risk, according to the CDC.
Hogan encouraged anyone age 2 or older who is not vaccinated to continue wearing a mask indoors, as well as outdoors when they can’t keep physically distanced from others.
Is Maryland still under a state of emergency?
Maryland’s state of emergency remains in effect, Hogan said. The declaration gives the state access to certain resources, including allowing the continued use of the Maryland National Guard during the vaccination effort.
What are other states doing?
Several states have rolled back mask mandates following the updated CDC guidance. Virginia has said vaccinated people may no longer wear masks, and capacity limits will be lifted there May 28.
In Delaware, residents and visitors can forgo face coverings May 21.
West Virginia also lifted mask restrictions for those who are vaccinated, and said those who are unvaccinated can go maskless June 20.
Fully vaccinated people in Pennsylvania also no longer have to wear masks in crowds outside or in most indoor spaces.