Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says the state of emergency declared more than a year ago to combat COVID-19 will soon be over.
On July 1, emergency restrictions and mandates of any kind will end, Hogan said Tuesday.
No face coverings will be required anywhere under state law, including summer camps, schools or child care facilities, Hogan said. Businesses and workplaces can set their own face-covering policies.
"Today I am announcing the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency in Maryland," Hogan said. "We have finally reached the light at the end of that long tunnel."
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After July 1, there will be a 45-day wind-down period, during which certain regulations will be relaxed, Hogan said.
Drivers will have until Aug. 15 to renew expired licenses, Hogan said.
The eviction moratorium has been extended through Aug. 15, Hogan said.
"It's not mission accomplished. The battle's not over. We're transitioning from a state of emergency to an ongoing operation," Hogan said.
Hogan cited rising vaccination rates and falling COVID-19 case and hospitalization numbers as the reason to take a major step in returning to normal.
About 6.5 million Marylanders have been vaccinated as of Tuesday and the state has one of the lowest rates of new cases in the nation, Hogan said.
He said the threat of COVID-19 isn't over, however, and encouraged vaccinations.
"While the end of the state of emergency is an important step in our recovery from COVID-19, it does not mean that this virus and the variants no longer pose any threat. If you have been vaccinated, you are safe. But those who have not gotten vaccinated will continue to be at risk. At this point, there is simply no excuse for not getting vaccinated. Vaccines are safe, they're effective and they're readily available everywhere."