At yesterday’s press conference, Governor Hogan announced new travel orders and $180 million in new economic relief.
Home for the Holidays Orders and Advisories:
New Public Health Advisory to Limit Gatherings to 10 People or Fewer:
The Maryland Department of Health issued a public health advisory warning Marylanders against all non-essential activities and holiday gatherings with people outside one’s immediate household. Under this advisory, all Marylanders should refrain from attending public and private gatherings of more than 10 people in one location and should practice physical distancing to the maximum extent possible.
Expanded Testing and Quarantine Requirements for Travel: The Governor issued an emergency order requiring Marylanders to limit all travel to essential purposes only. All Marylanders who travel outside of Maryland, or any individuals who travel to Maryland, must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. This applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Read the companion health directives to this order.
Temporary Suspension of In-Person Customer Services operations: Governor Hogan has directed state agencies to suspend in-person customer service operations for two weeks, beginning Monday, December 21. Telework continues to be mandatory for state employees who are able to telework, and all businesses are strongly encouraged to institute telework over the holidays.
Santa Claus Exempt From All Travel, Testing, and Quarantine Requirements: Governor Hogan issued a special emergency order exempting Santa Claus, the elves from Santa’s workshop, and the reindeer necessary for the operation of Santa’s sleigh from any and all travel, testing, and quarantine requirements.
Additional Economic Relief:
Governor Hogan announced another $180 million in state emergency economic relief to help those families and small businesses that are being hit the hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic. With these actions, the state has now provided well over $600 million in emergency economic relief, and the Governor pledged to seek a larger economic and stimulus package during the upcoming legislative session.
$50 Million for Hotels and Hospitality Businesses: The State is providing $50 million from its dedicated emergency rapid response fund to help hotels and hospitality businesses across the state. This funding will be distributed by local jurisdictions to go toward payroll expenses, rent, and utilities in order to keep operations going while travel is restricted.
$30 Million in Additional Relief for Bars and Restaurants: Local jurisdictions are encouraged to distribute this money quickly and to match this investment where possible.
$15 Million in Additional Relief for Entertainment Venues: The Governor announced another $15 million in assistance to entertainment venues through the state’s successful Main Street program at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
$5 Million for Rural Businesses: As part of a new relief initiative, the Governor announced $5 million to help socially or economically disadvantaged tech-based businesses in the state’s rural counties.
$40 Million to Boost the Temporary Cash Assistance Benefit: These funds will provide a $100 boost to the Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefit for each of the next six months. This will help more than 66,000 Maryland families that are struggling to make ends meet.
$40 Million for Health Care Providers: Health care providers will begin receiving their 4% increase on January 1, six months ahead of schedule.
Extension of Moratorium on Foreclosures: The Governor also signed an emergency order extending the moratorium on foreclosures to January 31, consistent with the federal CARES Act.