On November 10th, the Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to reinstate tighter COVID-19 restrictions for retail businesses, restaurants, and religious organizations because of the spike in coronavirus cases throughout the national capital region. The new restrictions include the following:
- reduced capacity limits for restaurants, retail outlets and personal services businesses to 25% — down from 50% previously. The reduced capacity limits also apply to religious facilities.
- public gatherings, such as parties, receptions, and festivals, are limited to twenty-five (25) people or fewer – down from 50 people before.
- At personal services establishments, such as hair salons, barbershops, massage parlors and nail salons, capacity is capped at 25% or twenty-five (25) people, whichever is fewer.
Montgomery County also recently discontinued its previous program allowing some bars and restaurants to serve alcohol to dine-in customers past 10 p.m. The county’s tightening of restrictions come as COVID-19 cases surge around the country and across Maryland. The day that the county announced the new restrictions (November 10th) the state Department of Health reported over 1,300 new COVID-19 cases statewide. Over the past few weeks, Montgomery County has been averaging around 200 new cases per day.