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What’s Reopening In Baltimore On Friday, And What’s Not


Gov. Larry Hogan has lifted broad pandemic containment restrictions across Maryland starting on Friday, but that doesn’t mean localities like Baltimore City are joining him in phase 3 of his re-opening plan.

Baltimore is still firmly in phase 2, Mayor Jack Young said at a news conference Wednesday, though the city will allow indoor theaters to open at 25% of capacity. 

“We do not want to erase the gains we’ve made over the past month by loosening restrictions now,” the Democrat said.

Young’s decision to allow theaters to partially open comes during what is usually one of the film industry’s busiest weekends of the year.

The rest of the city remains under restrictions Young imposed in an Aug. 7 executive order: Indoor and outdoor gatherings are capped at 25 people, religious institutions and indoor recreation establishments can host no more than 25% of their capacity, and restaurants can offer outdoor service at 50% capacity and indoor service at 25% capacity. 

Baltimore’s restrictions differ from Phase 3 of the state’s, which allows all businesses to open at 50% capacity and caps 100 people at indoor venues and 250 at outdoor venues. It also allows places of worship to host gatherings at 75% capacity. 

Young said on Wednesday that he will allow restaurants to increase for indoor dining services to 50% capacity at some point next week.


Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.