Montgomery County Executive announces proposal to temporarily suspend indoor dining

All indoor dining in Montgomery County is due to shut down on Tuesday under a new order from County Executive Marc Elrich.  

The amended order would kick in at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 15. 

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Just this morning, Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott announced he was shutting down both indoor and outdoor dining there.

Meanwhile, Elrich says the coronavirus rates in Montgomery County – the most populated in Maryland – are two times the number they were in the summer. He says steps like this may be the last line of defense.

"Today I sent over to the council new steps in the fight against COVID, which if the council approves would go into effect next Tuesday at 5 p.m. Basically, we are closing indoor dining. Outdoor dining, carry out and delivery will all continue to be allowed," said Elrich. 

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Non-professional sports are being limited to 10 people indoors. Religious organizations can have up to 25 people without approval outdoors. 

Montgomery County restaurants have struggled to survive and many have gone out of business.  At Tommy Joe’s and Momo’s Chicken and Jazz Wednesday, the news was met with disappointment.

"It's definitely slow in general – the dining in – but I guess as long as everyone stays safe, maybe it will be quicker until they can come back," said Stephanie Mancco.

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Just yesterday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was asked why he has not imposed new statewide restrictions in nearly two weeks.

The governor said he was trying to balance the needs of public health versus creating even more devastation to the economy.

Hogan has now scheduled a news conference for tomorrow at 3 p.m. – his second this week.

View the amended executive order below: