ANNAPOLIS, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that masks and face coverings are no longer required outdoors effective immediately and that all restrictions will be lifted for outdoor dining effective Saturday, May 1.
Hogan says lifting the mask mandate is in line with the latest CDC guidance and follows the advice of leading health experts. However, Marylanders who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to continue wearing masks.
Masks are still required at all indoor public and private businesses.
In addition to the lifting of the statewide mask mandate, Hogan also announced that standing service will be allowed to resume outdoors at bars and restaurants, and all capacity and distancing restrictions related to outdoor dining will be lifted beginning Saturday.
Seated service and physical distancing requirements will remain in place indoors at bars and restaurants.
Also beginning Saturday, all Marylanders eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to go online or call to book an appointment at any of the state's mass vaccination sites.
Pre-registration for the COVID-19 vaccine will end Thursday, April 29 and everyone who has already pre-registered will be contacted for an appointment by the end of the day Friday.
Gov. Hogan says Maryland has surpassed more than 4.5 million vaccines administered and nearly 85% of Marylanders over 65 have been vaccinated. In addition, more than 60% of Marylanders 18 and older have been vaccinated.
"We expect to be able to take additional actions in the weeks ahead and to return to a sense of normalcy," Gov. Hogan said. "The fastest way to put this pandemic behind us once and for all is for every single eligible Marylander to get vaccinated as soon as possible."
All college students in Maryland are encouraged to begin the vaccination process in the state even if they end up getting their second shot in their home state. Maryland is reserving large blocks of appointments for university students and major employers.
If you require additional assistance, especially if you are homebound or need transportation, contact 1-855-MD-GOVAX to be directly connected with a vaccinator.