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Reopening Maryland: Baltimore Enters Modified Opening Phase 1

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore will enter a modified phase 1 reopening Monday.

Mayor Jack Young announced Friday he would lift more coronavirus restrictions in Baltimore, however, the city will still remain under more restrictions than the rest of the state. The stay-at-home order will remain in effect.

Young cited safety concerns, but will allow the city to move into a modified first recovery stage. That means churches can hold outdoor, socially-distanced services for up to 50 people and childcare centers and day camps can open for up to ten people. Hair salons and barber shops can open by appointment only with only five people allowed for every one thousand square feet of space.

Some small business owners are livid the mayor will not allow them to reopen as Baltimore remains one of the most restricted places in the state—while every neighboring jurisdiction is allowing retail under the governor's stage two guidelines.

Mayor Young defended his decision to only allow curbside retail saying he understands business concerns but this is about saving lives. "We're just in phase one so to jump to phase 2 would be counterproductive as far as I'm concerned," the mayor said.

Claudia Towles runs the Amuse Toy store in Fells Point and said her square footage is small so she understands the restrictions, but she blasted the city for the lack of communication—and said more retail should be allowed to reopen.

"Just to say, 'We're not ready,' is not enough. I don't think it shows leadership quite frankly," Towles said. "Considering neighboring counties are opening up, it is only going to hurt us more."

Betsy Wendell who owns Octavia Boutique in Cross Keys pleaded with the mayor. "I hope Mayor Young is listening. Please allow our businesses to open."


Here's the new list of what will be allowed in Baltimore Monday:

  • Churches and other houses of worship can hold outdoor, tented services with up to 50 people. Virtual worshipping is still strongly encouraged. Houses of worship must get a permit through the city.
  • Camps and child care centers can operate with a limit of 10 per room or group.
  • Hair salons and barbershops can reopen by appointment only with five people per 1,000 square-feet. They must make sure to clean in between customers per CDC guidelines.
  • Enoch Pratt Free Public Libraries will offer sidewalk services starting on June 15.
  • The Baltimore Farmers Market and Bazaar will open on June 14 at 7 a.m. with food only.
  • Hotels and accommodation services can reopen with safety precautions and following CDC guidelines.
  • Curbside retail will remain in Baltimore city, while other businesses around the state will allow up to 50% indoor capacity in stores.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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