Howard County is launching a new Temporary Use Permit for Outdoor Table Service for restaurants and bars that do not currently have outdoor table service or need to expand existing outdoor table service. Businesses can apply by visiting

If the proposed outdoor seating is located on private property, businesses may provisionally set up and begin using the outdoor seating; however Howard County may suspend, revoke, or require modifications to the arrangement should conditions that conflict with Howard County guidelines or safe operations arise. If the proposed outdoor seating is located on county property, businesses must wait for their permit to be issued before setting up new seating.

Businesses must follow all requirements of applicable Executive Orders, and requirements and guidance issued by local, state and federal authorities. Continued outdoor table service requires approval of your application and the issuance of all applicable permits. Permits are temporary and applicable during the state of emergency. If you have any questions, please call 410-313-2455, option #4, or email [email protected].

Howard County worked with the Liquor Board to extend on-premises alcohol consumption. This collaboration prevents restaurants and bars from needing to seek multiple permits. The Liquor Board added the following amendment to its rules: “During the current state of emergency related to COVID-19, Licensees may apply for a temporary extension of premises for on premises consumption in an outdoor serving area on a form provided by Howard County without the requirement of public notice, public hearing, or liquor board application.”

“We are pleased that County Executive Ball included restaurants in his decision-making process,” said Marshall Weston, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland. “Outdoor seating is a step in the right direction as restaurants try to survive this crisis. Restaurants welcome the opportunity to continue working with the county executive and his team as we move towards indoor dining.”