March 17, 2021

County Moves Toward Gradual Reopening Steps

Montgomery County has moved toward implementation of a phased approach to reopening that will allow students and teachers back in the classroom safely, expand business opportunities and restore recreational and social activities in a way that does not unduly jeopardize public health. The steps were part of a Board of Health regulation proposed by County Executive Marc Elrich and approved by the County Council.

Among the provisions of the regulation:
  • The County is aligning its outdoor dining with Maryland's Department of Health guidance. Indoor dining capacity remains at 25 percent until March 26, when it will increase to 50 percent. The 10 p.m. time limit for alcohol service has also been eliminated.
  • Childcare can return to group sizes and staff-child ratios in accordance with Maryland regulations.
  • Outdoor gathering limits have been increased to 50 people or less.
  • Indoor gathering limits have been increased to 25 people or less.
  • Retail establishments and businesses, such as fitness centers, hair or nail salons, museums and art galleries, can operate at 25 percent capacity.
  • Houses of worship can conduct services at 50 percent occupancy.
  • Sports played outside can now occur with a maximum of 50 people. Indoor sports activities can be played with a maximum of 25 people. However, a letter of approval can be sought from the County for larger youth sports activities. Youth ice hockey is also allowed at 10 percent of the maximum capacity of the ice rink.
On March 26, capacity limits will increase to 50 percent for retail establishments, personal service facilities, fitness centers, bowling alleys, escape rooms, museums, art galleries and pools. Also on March 26: theaters, social clubs and all admission and amusement venues can reopen at 25 percent capacity without food concessions.