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Local Updates: DC, MD & VA 5/7

May 7, 2020

Dear Operator, 

We want to touch base and share some quick updates and clarifications with you based on regional news and questions we have received from you. 

Follow up on DC Emergency Legislation 

As you know, the Council passed Emergency Legislation on Tuesday to provide additional protections for the small business community. The legislation has not yet been signed into law, however we expect it will be signed very soon. Once the law is signed it goes into effect with the expectation that third party delivery companies are complying with the mandated cap.  Once it goes into effect we will be notifying all of you real time.   Currently the third party delivery cap is set to expire on May 15th, which is when the Public Health Emergency expires, however it is very likely that will be extended, and separately we are advocating that this cap remain in place through all phases of reopening until all restrictions on operations are lifted.  

On Reopen DC, we are working fast and furiously this week as we are gleaning insight and are putting together recommendations for the draft report. We are not in a position to share the draft this week as it is not complete nor inclusive of real time health guidelines, however we are encouraged by the government’s position as they consider creative and forward thinking ways to utilize outdoor public and private space.  It is likely that as we move into a phased approach, all of you will need to consider as much outdoor space use as possible.

Phases and timeline are still being discussed by DOH and we were reminded late last night that any recommendations our industry puts forward will be considered by the Department of Health, knowing DOH will make the final determination based on what makes the most sense from a public health standpoint. If you have any recommendations, please share with us at


In yesterday’s press conference, Governor Northam noted that additional details about guidelines for reopening will be made public on Friday. Governor Northam shared that his administration is working with localities, and the Phase One restrictions are the ‘floor’, and that localities, especially those in Northern Virginia, will be allowed to impose further restrictions on crowd sizes. The Governor was unclear about what authority a local government has to impose such restrictions, and noted that he will have the final say regarding reopening and any additional restrictions. Through conversations with members of the Governor’s office, we learned it is unlikely this will result in a delayed opening for certain parts of the state rather that if in fact there are hot spots or areas that see a spike after re-opening that the Governor will coordinate with local leaders and may seek to impose additional restrictions. It is our understanding that the state of Virginia is still on track for a Phase One May 15th reopening. As we get further guidance or detail, we will share.  


Yesterday, Governor Hogan announced Maryland’s stay-at-home order could be lifted as early as next week. Hogan shared there would be an immediate easing of restrictions on some low-risk activities, but schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. If Maryland continues to see a trending down of hospital admissions and ICU admissions, Hogan said, the state could be ready to reopen under stage one of Hogan’s Covid-19 recovery plan. It is unclear how this could impact restaurants, and we will keep you posted with information as it becomes available.  In addition, limitations on some outdoor activities will be lifted at 7 a.m. today--this does not impact restaurants. Those outdoor activities include golf, tennis, boating, fishing and camping. Beaches and playgrounds at state parks can also reopen and local governments can take similar actions at their discretion. Click here to read the media release.

As the region looks towards reopening we will keep you posted with updates as they are available. 

Be safe. Be kind.