Pandemic recovery is continuing as restrictions are being eased and steps toward normalcy evident in both Delaware and Maryland.
Following Delaware’s significant announcement last week, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan lifted all remaining restrictions on restaurants and bars effective Saturday. The most consequential on the local front being restaurants no longer need to space tables six feet apart. In March, the governor lifted capacity limits on restaurants, but the change was irrelevant for most operators because the six-foot spacing rule remained in effect. With this week’s announcement tables no longer have to be six feet distanced and bars can now permitt standing, this summer will likely look fairly normal.
The only exception at this point is masks will still be required inside, but even that looks to be nearing its end once Maryland reaches 70% of citizens vaccinated at least once. The state will likely reach this marker next month.
Though this week’s lifting of restriction was significant, there remain serious concerns heading into the summer about employment. Fuel shortage fears also cloud any certainty heading into this summer.
What is clear is the resort area is going to have a busy summer. The spring weekends have been big, and rental and hotel reservations are confirming heavy demand for the summer season.
The progress toward normal life over the last few months has been significant, and vaccinations are largely to credit. People who remain unvaccinated at this point have likely made the conscious decision to not get the shot. Individual choice remains an American right, as it should, but it’s only a matter of time before the state reaches the 70% level, resulting in the masking mandate being lifted.
Another significant move this week was the availability of the Pfizer vaccine to kids ages 12-17. This means a great number of middle school and high school kids could be vaccinated by the start of the next school year. This should result in school mandates on masks and other precautions also being lifted by September.
Furthermore, an issue with timeliness at play was the governor’s decision to reinstitute job search proof before unemployment claims are processed. What’s unclear about that move is when it will go into effect. If it’s not immediate, or at least within the next few weeks, the impact on this summer in this resort area will be naught.
No matter, the progress toward recovery and normal continues to trend in the right direction. With Memorial Day weekend a couple weeks away, this is significant and cause for some relief for many.