Maryland PIRG Statement on Gov. Hogan Restaurant Capacity Announcement

Media Contacts
Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG; Director, Stop Toxic PFAS Campaign, PIRG

Maryland PIRG

Baltimore – Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that he is loosening coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining. Starting Monday, September 21st at 5:00pm restaurants will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity for indoor dining, up from 50%. 

This is happening even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study last week that found that adults who tested positive for COVID-19 were about twice as likely to have eaten at a restaurant in the two weeks prior to getting sick. 

In response, Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr released the following statement:

“Health professionals have warned that indoor dining is a high risk activity and economists have made clear that the economy will not recover until we get the virus under control. Yet, the governor is loosening restrictions while Maryland’s COVID-19 cases and positivity rates are on the rise, and above the levels that health professionals deem safe for reopening. 

Lifting restrictions too soon, especially in high-risk settings for spreading the virus like indoor dining, will prolong economic damage and risk lives unnecessarily.

Instead of reopening prematurely, Governor Hogan should wait until the state successfully ramps up testing so that we can return to some semblance of normalcy safely.”