Governor Larry Hogan issued Executive Order 20-03-23-01, which also prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. Most commercial and residential construction businesses are exempted and considered essential. Maryland did not enact the further step of implementing a shelter in place order. The Order went into effect at 5:00pm on March 23, 2020.
Guidance from the Maryland Office of Legal Counsel recommends the following as a non-exhaustive list of essential businesses:
The Commercial Facilities exemption includes:
The Order allows restaurants to stay open for take-out and delivery only. The Order includes language explicitly closing all fitness centers, theaters, malls, and other recreational establishments, with only limited exceptions. Like several other states, Maryland references guidance from the U.S Department of Homeland Security Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency in determining which businesses are considered essential.
Closing businesses where people might congregate is a “better, smarter action for us,” Governor Hogan said. “Unless you have an essential reason, then you should stay in your home.”
The Order remains in effect for the duration of the state of emergency. Law enforcement officers are authorized to enforce the order. A knowing and willful violation constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, or $5,000 in fines.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Author Patrick McKnight is an associate in the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.