Montgomery Enacts New COVID-19 Safety Protocols

The Montgomery County Council today approved County Executive Marc Elrich’s Executive Order to suspend indoor dining, reduce indoor sports gatherings to no more than 10 people, and reduce the maximum capacity of retail establishments. The order went into effect today at 5:00 pm.

“We have been experiencing weeks with our daily case counts up dramatically,” said County Executive Elrich.” “This was a difficult decision, and I know that it is hard for our businesses. I encourage everyone to support our local businesses. We must take steps to slow the spread of this virus.”

According to a County press release:

 The provisions of the new order include the following:

  • Restricts restaurant service to outdoor dining-carry-out, delivery and drive-through service may continue. No indoor dining is permitted. Outdoor dining is prohibited between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., per an existing Executive Order from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
  • Indoor sports gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people total.
  • Maximum capacity for retail establishments reduced to one person per 200 square feet of retail space—not to exceed a maximum of 150 people.
  • Large retail establishments wishing to accommodate more than 150 people after Wednesday, December 23 must request a Letter of Approval that includes a business’ plan for monitoring the number of people in the building at any given time and provide information on how social distancing will be ensured at the entrance, exit and check-out lines. All requests for a Letter of Approval must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21. Requests can be completed on the COVID-19 website under the Executive Order portal.
  • Religious institutions remain capped at 25 percent capacity indoors. A Letter of Approval is needed for outdoor services of more than 25 participants (previously a letter of approval was needed for outdoor services of more than 150 persons).

Visit the Montgomery County website for more information.