Maryland counties to lift some virus restrictions on Monday

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Two of Maryland’s most populous counties will begin lifting some coronavirus-related restrictions on Monday, allowing for an expanded reopening of businesses and activities.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced details of the county’s first reopening phase at a news conference Thursday. Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks also announced Thursday that county plans to begin its gradual reopening on Monday.

Their announcements came a day after Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland will fully implement the first stage of his statewide reopening plan later this week, to the extent that local officials believe they are able. Hogan lifted a stay-at-home order two weeks ago, but some counties extended their own such restrictions.

Montgomery and Prince George’s County are both suburbs of Washington, D.C., and have reported more COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other county in the state.

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The first phase of Montgomery County’s reopening will allow restaurants and bars to have outdoor seating. Hair salons and barber shops will be allowed to serve customers by appointment. Outdoor day camps can open and outdoor youth sports can resume under guidelines set by the state health department.

Many of the county’s businesses must remain closed during the first phase, including swimming pools, fitness centers, movie theaters, shopping malls and nail salons.

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