As Congress still tries to cross the legislative finish line on a second major coronavirus relief package, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Thursday an additional $180 million in economic relief related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor announced that aid as he enacted an executive order that limits out-of-state travel for Marylanders and the state health department issued a public health advisory limiting gatherings from a maximum of 25 to 10 people.
Of the $180 million in aid, $50 million will go to hotels and the hospitality industry statewide, Hogan said. Another $40 million will be allocated to temporary cash assistance benefits programs for the next six months, with $40 million more for developmental disability care providers, he added.
Hogan also announced an additional $30 million for restaurants, along with other aid. He was glad Congress appeared close to a bill, but stopped short of a full compliment.
"We are disappointed that this compromise appears to be leaving out support for state and local governments, which will continue to be desperately needed as we continue to battle on the front lines," Hogan said. "But as I have repeatedly said, with so many people hurting, something, even if it is only a short-term solution, is certainly better than doing nothing."
Those traveling out of state will be required to quarantine for 10 days or obtain a negative COVID-19 test result—but after some questions from reporters, Hogan said his executive order is meant to target those traveling by plane outside of the region or those driving further throughout the country.
Hogan understood many people travel in between Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, for example.
"We're not going to be out there checking people or having law enforcement come after people for traveling," the governor said. "We're just going to rely on the good faith of the people who will listen to these orders because they're critically important to keeping people alive."
Greg Slater, the state's secretary of transportation, also called on Marylanders to limit out-of-state travel.
"This holiday season, please give the gift of good health by avoiding nonessential travel to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect you and your families," Slater said. "Simply put: Don't travel unless necessary."