(WB) Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms in the state to shut down most services by 5 p.m. on Monday.
The governor at a press conference also announced a ban on “any social, community, religious, recreational (or) sports gatherings or events of more than 50 people in close proximity” in order to curb the spread of coronavirus in Maryland.
No timeline was provided as to when these restrictions will be lifted, but, according to Hogan, drive thru, carry out and food delivery services are permitted to continue, and essential service providers — such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and banks — are to remain open.
“These emergency orders carry the full force of the law, and will be strictly enforced,” Hogan said, noting that 250 Maryland State Police troopers of the mobile field force have been readied for deployment.
In addition, Hogan announced executive orders prohibiting the eviction of any tenant during the state of emergency and barring utility companies — including electric, gas, water, sewer, phone, cable, TV and internet service provider companies — from “shutting off any residential customers or charging any residential customer late fees.”
“It is impossible to know how long this threat will continue,” Hogan said. “What I do know is that we cannot afford to wait to take action. While these measures may seem extreme, if we do not take them now, it could be too late. I will make whatever decisions and take whatever actions are necessary to save the lives of thousands of Marylanders and to protect our way of life itself.”