How police enforce Maryland’s stay-at-home order

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Maryland, Virginia and DC were all issued a stay-at-home order. Here's how Maryland's enforcing it

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MARYLAND (WDVM) — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order which went into effect at 8 p.m. on March 30. Here’s what’s changing and how police plan to enforce it.

If you have been following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the governor — like maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more people and only leaving your home for necessities — not much will be different for you. Hogan already closed down all non-essential businesses on March 23. And he already closed dine-in services at restaurants and bars, only allowing for carryout, delivery or drive-thru food pickups.

What has changed is law enforcement of the guidelines. The governor said anyone found in violation of the order will be found guilty of a misdemeanor.

Maryland State Police explained how they are enforcing it.

Troopers will not randomly stop you while you’re driving just to check if you’re in compliance with the stay-at-home order. They will, however, check if you are in compliance with the order if you are stopped for a regular traffic violation or a crash investigation.

Marylanders can still leave their homes for groceries, pharmacy/medical services and if they need to care for a family member, friend, pets, etc. “It also allows for travel to and from an educational institution to receive meals or instructional materials for distance learning,” police said.

In short: Any travel for health, safety, hygiene, and other absolute necessities is still allowed. Getting fresh air is also allowed. Marylanders can exercise outdoors as long as they are maintaining social distance and not exercising in a group of 10 or more people.

Hogan’s Communications Director Mike Ricci also tweeted clarifications for those who hunt, fish and boat.

  • Hunting, fishing and boating to get food: Allowed
  • Kayaking and paddleboarding for exercise: Allowed
  • Recreational boating: Not allowed

Maryland State Police added that it is not necessary for drivers to have documents outlining their travel purpose, but having it can help resolve questions.

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Watch Hogan’s full press conference with the announcement:

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