Frederick County will enter into phase 2 of Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) Roadmap to Recovery on Friday at 5 p.m., County Executive Jan Gardner (D) announced in a news briefing Thursday.
That means a long list of non-essential businesses can open countywide — including more personal services, like nail salons, tattoo parlors and tanning salons.
Hogan’s executive order says that all customers over the age of 2 must wear face coverings in those personal service businesses, unless the face covering would make it impossible to perform business. It also states those businesses must not exceed 50 percent capacity, and that areas where services are performed must be sanitized after each use.
“I do think there’s going to be complaints about that to those business owners, so I want to make sure people know that came from the governor,” Gardner said after the briefing regarding that part of the order.
Gardner’s executive order follows Hogan’s order for the most part. She added, however, that she has added some requirements, like having personal services like barbershops and hair salons schedule special hours in the morning for seniors and those who are more vulnerable to complications from the virus.
She also said some business sectors highlighted in his order, like construction and manufacturing, has been operating at full capacity in the county for multiple weeks, as those are essential businesses.
Most businesses that are still restricted are tied to large gatherings—except for churches, which have a 250-person cap, per Hogan’s executive orders.
Gardner said some common businesses that are still closed include bowling alleys, movie theaters, sporting events and others that involve large gatherings.
Still, that doesn’t mean all business owners will choose to open, she added.
“The requirements on these things are so significant that some businesses and activities are going to make a choice that they’re not going to open right now,” Gardner said. “And I really was surprised by some of the liability issues that I heard from people.”
“There’s a number of reasons why people may not want to make an investment to move forward now, or they don’t think they’ll get enough customers to move forward,” she added.
Some restrictions remain in place for businesses that can open, according to Gardner and Hogan’s executive orders. That includes a 50 percent capacity limit in businesses under 10,000 square feet, and face coverings must be worn by all customers that visit those businesses. Multiple times during Thursday’s briefing, Gardner urged county residents to adhere to local and state regulations in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” she said.