Earlier this week, Governor Hogan announced he was ending the state’s emergency order, meaning small businesses have one less impediment to getting back on their feet. The executive order, which has now been in place for over 15 months, will end July 1st after 18 renewals from the executive branch. This means that masks will not be required in any setting and small business owners will finally be able to implement their own safety precautions.
According to the Governor’s office, the COVID-19 state of emergency will end in two phases:
Emergency mandates and restrictions will end on July 1
All emergency mandates and restrictions will be terminated as of July 1. There will no longer be any statewide mask order in effect for any settings, including schools, camps, and childcare facilities. Federal law will still require masks on planes, subways, buses and other mass transit. Private business owners will have the right to require patrons to be masked inside of their establishments if they so choose.
The July 1 date will allow for a new state law to take effect that will continue to allow bars, restaurants and other liquor license holders to deliver alcoholic beverages.
45-day administrative grace period through August 15
Thursday, July 1 will mark the beginning of a 45-day grace period, where certain regulations will continue to be relaxed to complete the administrative transition out of the pandemic. This includes such provisions as renewing driver’s licenses, winding down emergency health operations, and the moratorium on evictions related to COVID-19.
State Director for Maryland, Mike O’Halloran, released the following statement:
“To say this is welcomed news would be the understatement of the last year and a half. Maryland small businesses faced the brunt of this economic crisis. Today’s news means the light at the end of the tunnel is here and our members are more than ready to get Marylanders back to work, welcome back their customers and clients, and continue on our state’s path towards economic recovery.”
On Tuesday, the state reported 67 new cases, dropping the state seven-day rolling average of new cases to 93 cases per day. The state is reporting a seven-day positivity rate of 0.82 percent. Hospitalizations and deaths have fallen to their lowest points since March of 2020.