Montgomery County Won’t Join the Rest of Maryland in Lifting Outdoor Dining and Masking Restrictions

Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda. Owner Ashish Alfred pushed against Montgomery County's indoor dining ban. Kate Grewal Photography.

On Tuesday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that starting this weekend, the state will lift all capacity and distancing regulations related to outdoor dining. Among the other changes: standing service will now be allowed outside and there will no longer be an outdoor mask mandate for those who have been vaccinated. When it comes to indoor dining, seated service and physical distancing requirements of six feet remain the same.

Still, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced that there won’t be such changes to pandemic rules in his county. Instead, MoCo will continue to follow the county’s Board of Health regulations and guidance.

Elrich pointed to the fact that the state’s COVID-19 rates have been steadily decreasing, and that Montgomery County’s low case rates have significantly contributed to that decline. He said the county’s phased reopening plan is the most strategic way to safely reopen all businesses. “Our previous decisions have resulted in these low case rates,” he said. “We should stay the same course.”