ANNAPOLIS, Md. — All indoor and outdoor capacity restrictions will be lifted for the state of Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday during his weekly COVID news briefing.
The move comes as parts of the country have started to scale back COVID-19 capacity restrictions because more people are getting vaccinated and the number of coronavirus cases has dropped.
“As a direct result of our incredibly fast pace of vaccinations and because of the subsequent declines of hospitalizations, positivity rate, transmission rates and case rates, today we are able to take additional action are return to normalcy," Hogan said.
Effective this Saturday, Hogan said that all restrictions will be lifted on both indoor and outdoor dining, all outdoor entertainment and sports venues, as well as on all indoor entertainment venues, conventions and other businesses.
The cruise terminal in Baltimore will also be reopened as part of this lifting of restrictions, according to Hogan.
“Maryland is vaccinating at a faster rate than the nation and faster than most other states, and we are well on our way to reaching 70% of all adults vaccinated by Memorial Day weekend,” Hogan said.
The governor noted that all indoor mask requirements are still in place until further notice and can be lifted when 70% of adults receive at least one dose of the vaccine around the nation.
“President Biden set the goal of trying to get things back to normal by the Fourth of July,” Hogan said. “Here in Maryland, our plan is to get everything back to normal by Memorial Day. We are making amazing progress towards that goal.”
The new announcement by Hogan comes as both D.C. and Virginia have also announced lifted or potential lifting of more COVID-19 restrictions. Maryland's new scale back announcement is the most aggressive return to normalcy plan within the D.C. Metro area.
As of Wednesday, Maryland has administered more than 5.3 million COVID-19 vaccines — with 86% of all Marylanders over the age of 65 are vaccinated and 65.4% of all Marylanders over 18 are fully vaccinated.
Maryland’s case rate per 100,000 has dropped by 64% — the lowest it’s been since Sept. 30, 2020.
To watch Gov. Hogan's recent COVID briefing, click the video below: