In accordance with the Gov. Larry Hogan’s recommendations, some Howard County restaurants opened for customers for outdoor seating only, effective May 29.

Restaurants and bars that do not currently have outdoor seating will receive information on an expedited process in the coming days to accommodate some operations.

Howard County sought and received community input on reopening decisions, speaking with nearly 55 restaurant owners and 180 members of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce on May 27.

“Reopening of our restaurants is an indication of the perseverance and adaptability of Howard County businesses and residents to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County health officer. “Continued social distancing practices will be necessary to maintain our successful efforts.”

“We are excited that we are able to take this next step for this sector of our small business community,” said Larry Twele, Howard County Economic Development Authority CEO. “Restaurants employ over 11,000 workers in Howard County, so we are encouraged that this will help put many of these employees back to work.”