MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Some COVID-19 restrictions are set to lift in Montgomery County at 5 p.m. Tuesday. More than half of the county’s eligible residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Montgomery County Council voted to approve new restriction rollbacks and new guidelines Tuesday morning.
The first phase of rollbacks on Tuesday increases capacity limits for most businesses from 25 to 50 percent and allows groups of 50 to gather indoors and groups of 100 outdoors.
The next restriction rollbacks will automatically start when the county reports 60 percent of its population as partially vaccinated. Once the county hits the 50 percent fully vaccinated mark, Montgomery’s restrictions would fall in line with those put in place by the state of Maryland.
Councilmember Andrew Friedson says he hopes the new plan provides some predictability.
“It’s a clear, metric-based, and transparent process. We’re gradually moving through reopening and returning to some sense of normalcy,” Friedson said Tuesday morning.
Tuesday’s conversations were optimistic, but Chief Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles says things can always change.
“If we do see a move in the opposite direction and metrics moving in a negative way, we would have to revisit some of these provisions,” Dr. Gayles said.
Here are the full guidelines from the new Board of Health regulation:
50 percent of the population receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine:
- Gathering limits increase to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors;
- Businesses limited to 25 percent capacity move to 50 percent capacity if they do not sell or permit the consumption of food or drink;
- Camps can move to the gathering limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors;
- escape rooms can allow 10 people per game;
- Museums and galleries may reopen touch exhibits;
- Malls may reopen pedestrian concourses and return tables and chairs inside; and
- Sports move to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors with a similar number of spectators.
60 percent of the population receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine;
- Gathering limits increase to 250 people indoors and no limit outdoors;
- Most businesses move to 75 percent capacity and may sell food and drink for consumption while seated;
- Camps can increase to gathering limits of 250 people indoors with no capacity limit outdoors and may permit campers from outside of Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia;
- Convention and banquet facilities are limited to 50 percent of the facilities maximum capacity per State restrictions;
- Cigar and hookah bars may permit smoking outdoors;
- Foodservice establishments may move to 75 percent of maximum capacity;
- Religious facilities may move to 75 percent of maximum capacity; and
- Sports may increase capacity for participants and spectators to 250 people indoors and no limit outdoors.
50 percent of the population being fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine all conduct and business in Montgomery County must follow any State or Maryland Department of Health requirements in place at the time.