ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Calling the moves “unprecedented,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said all restaurants, bars, pubs, movie theatres and gyms must close by 5 p.m. Monday. He said the action is necessary to protect the health and safety of Marylanders from the coronavirus pandemic.
Drive-thru, carryout and delivery are not affected by the order and essential services such as grocery stores and gas stations are unaffected.
“These measures may seem extreme,” the governor said, [but] “if we do not take them now it could be too late,” Hogan said.
Following his announcement, local businesses struggle with the new restrictions; such as the Hippy Chick Hummus in Frederick, Maryland.
WATCH BELOW: Owner Erika Brown mentions that she has already tried preparing for this, but faces the reality of potentially closing down her shop in the coming weeks.
All gatherings of 50 or more people are also prohibited, whether it be for a sporting event, religious, community or social meeting.
The governor is also expanding the state’s hospital bed capacity by 6,000 and he is activating the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps, with 700 active members. He has put 250 Maryland State Police on alert with the National Guard.
The governor also forbade utilities in the state from shutting off service to any customer during the state of emergency and the eviction of any tenant is also prohibited.
Arriving back in the state Monday, the governor said, are nine cruise ship passengers who were quarantined in Georgia after their excursion on the Grand Princess. They are in the custody of the National Guard.
Some patrons in Montgomery County heard the news, and here’s what one of them had to say: “Germs are spreading on [an] easy cough, if you touch a person, and this is a serious issue,” county resident, Lionel H. stated.
The governor’s latest actions followed his weekend closing of the state’s five casinos. Schools are closed at least through next week. As of Monday, more than three dozen coronavirus cases were reported in the state, but six tested positive between Sunday morning and Monday morning.