Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is raising indoor dining capacity from 50% to 75% early next week.
Hogan made the announcement Friday to mark the start of Maryland’s first-ever Restaurant Week.
The higher capacity for indoor dining in restaurants will be effective Monday at 5 p.m.
The increase will only be allowed with appropriate distancing. Restaurants also will have to follow strict public health requirements consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and the National Restaurant Association.
"The weather will soon eliminate outdoor dining as a viable option and the increase of indoor capacity will help make up for that loss," Restaurant Association of Maryland President and CEO Marshall Weston said in a statement. "We encourage all counties to follow the Governor’s Executive Order and not delay implementation."
While local jurisdictions have observed individual restaurant weeks over the past decade, this is the first statewide observance.