- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has changed his mind and now will allow outdoor dining under revisions to coronavirus restrictions set to take effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Indoor dining will still be prohibited, but outdoor dining is allowed “as long as 50% of tent sides are up,” the county government tweeted Wednesday.

“The revisions announced today resulted from the input we received from business and community stakeholders,” Mr. Pittman said in a statement on Wednesday. “Hospitalization projections and the impact of our actions on those numbers are the primary drivers of our policies, but we must also do everything in our power to assist the county residents who have suffered most throughout this pandemic — our low wage workers.”

The amended order also allows indoor ice and roller rinks to stay open and clarifies rules for sports, fitness centers and bingo halls.

Fitness centers will be allowed to have classes and group fitness activities if there are at least 150 square feet per person, with a limit of 25% of the maximum capacity.

Indoor ice and roller rinks can permit up to 10 people in the rink and 10 additional people who are non-employees can be in the facility.

Electronic bingo can be played in places where there are at least 150 square feet per person with a limit of 25% of the maximum capacity.

The initial capacity decrease to 25% is still in place for retail stores, personal services establishments, bowling alleys, and casinos.

Indoor theaters, live performance venues, adult entertainment venues, as well as cigar and hookah lounges also must close. Additionally, all sports and sport practices are still suspended with exceptions for professional or collegiate athletes who play outdoors.

As of Wednesday, Anne Arundel health officials reported 20,730 total coronavirus cases have been confirmed since the pandemic began, as well as 306 total deaths.

Prince George’s County also is set to close indoor dining among other new virus restrictions starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Montgomery County implemented similar restrictions Tuesday.

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