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Montgomery County Begins Phase One Reopening

Posted By: Nicola Y. Whiteman, Esq. Headlines ,

Per an Executive Order, Montgomery County begins Phase One effective today, June 1. The Executive Order sets forth the requirements for those businesses allowed to begin reopening while also identifying those such as fitness centers which must remain closed. Note that per the  Governor’s May 27 order, offices that are non-essential or expressly exempted remain closed. This directive was unaffected by the County’s Executive Order. The County plans to include office buildings in Phase Two. For information on the next stages of reopening, please view the Maryland Roadmap to Recovery beginning on page 25. The roadmap is divided into three stages  - low, medium and high risk. Examples of changes that could be implemented in the medium risk stage,  for example, includes indoor gyms and fitness classes.

Highlights of sections of interest to AOBA members in the County’s Executive Order are below.

Gatherings Larger Than 10 Persons Prohibited.

Retail Establishments. Retail businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities (Retail
Establishments) within Montgomery County are now permitted to offer curbside pickup, provided the following physical precautions are met and followed:

  • physical distancing of greater than 6 feet (whenever possible) between employees and customers at curbside and amongst employees during in-store operations;
  • use of physical distancing markers for staff and customers;
  • all staff are required use of face coverings and other Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) appropriate to their workplace;
  • all staff are required to wash their hands at a minimum of once per hour;
  • high contact surfaces (those with hourly or greater contact frequency) are cleaned with CDC and Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) approved disinfectant at least every 2 hours;
  • all employees receive ongoing guidance and training to reflect updated CDC guidelines; and
  • all customers are required to use face coverings during curbside pickup whenever physical distancing is not possible.

Certain Personal Services. Hair Salons and Barbers (“Personal Services Establishments”)
may reopen, by appointment only, to provide hair services provided the following physical
precautions are met and followed:

  • physical distancing greater than 6 feet, wherever possible;
  • all staff are required to use face coverings, gloves, and any other PPE appropriate to their workplace;
  • limit of 1 customer for every 200 sq. ft of service delivery space;
  • limit of 1 customer in a waiting area at a time, other customers waiting for appointments must wait outside the Personal Services Establishments;
  • use of physical distancing markers for staff and customers;
  • all customers required to wear face coverings;
  • high contact surfaces (those with hourly or greater contact frequency) are cleaned with CDC and EPA approved disinfectant at least every 2 hours; and 
  • all employees receive ongoing guidance and training to reflect updated CDC guidelines

Foodservice Establishments. 

  • Restaurants, bars, and other similar establishments that sell food or beverages for consumption on-premises in Montgomery County (“Restaurants and Bars”), and social and fraternal clubs (“Social Clubs”) with dining facilities may, to the extent permitted by applicable law: 
    • serve food and beverages to customers for consumption in outdoor seating areas; 
    • continue to sell food and beverages that are promptly taken from the premises, i.e., on a carry-out or drive-through basis; and/or 
    • continue to deliver food and beverages to customers off the premises. 
       
  • Restaurants and Bars and Social Clubs that serve food and beverages to customers in outdoor areas shall: 
    • require all staff to wear face coverings;
    • all staff are required to wash their hands at a minimum of once per hour;
    • ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other, except for households seated together; 
    • not allow groups larger than six persons to be seated together, except members of the same household; 
    • not serve food in a buffet format; 
    • clean high contact surfaces (those with hourly or greater contact frequency) with CDC and EPA approved disinfectant at least every 2 hours; and 
    • clean each table between each seating with CDC and EPA approved disinfectants.

Additional information for members:
Reopening Montgomery County Business Reopening RequirementsMontgomery County’s business community is a key partner in ensuring the safety and well-being of its employees and County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. All businesses, as a condition of reopening, are required to abide by the following rules which shall be posted in a visible location to alert the public of compliance with the safety rules.

  • Employees and customers will be required to maintain physical distance (greater than 6’), wherever possible. We will utilize markings and signage to guide our employees and customers.
  • Employees and our customers are required to wear face coverings while in our business.
  • All employees will receive training based on CDC COVID-19 guidance appropriate to our business sector before reopening.
  • Our business will use CDC- and EPA-approved disinfectants to clean our spaces daily. We will also use disinfectants to wipe down high-contact surfaces* at least every 2 hours while staff or customers are present.
  • Our employees will wash their hands hourly.
  • Our business will review and implement new CDC, Maryland Department of Health, and Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services guidelines as they are received.

Reopening Montgomery County Website
Reopening Montgomery County Phase 1 Guidelines
Reopening Montgomery County Curbside Retailers Checklist
Reopening Montgomery County Restaurants Reopening Checklist
Reopening Montgomery-Protective Measures for Retail and Childcare Employees and Customers