After doing so well for so long in the fight against COVID-19, we simply cannot afford to let down our guard over the holidays during this very critical time. Our message right now is simple: You are safer at home for the holidays this year.
Making difficult sacrifices during these next few weeks will absolutely help to keep your family, loved ones, and your fellow Marylanders safe. It will help our hospitals keep up with the demand and it will save lives.
We do want families to celebrate and enjoy the holidays in ways that help to keep them safe.
- The Maryland Department of Health has issued a public health advisory, which lowers the gathering limit from 25 to 10, and they are advising Marylanders against all non-essential activities and holiday gatherings with people outside of your immediate household.
- I also issued an emergency order, which requires limiting travel to essential purposes only. Marylanders who do travel outside of Maryland or individuals who do travel to our state will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or to self-quarantine for 10 days. You can find a COVID-19 testing site near you here.
Santa Claus is, of course, coming to town. I have issued a special executive order exempting Santa, his affiliated elves, and reindeer necessary for the propulsion of his sleigh from all emergency orders regarding travel.
The State of Maryland is providing more than $600 million in emergency economic relief, and we will continue to take every action we can at the state level to help those most in need.
This is the season of giving, so please do whatever you can to help support our Maryland small businesses. In addition to the actions we are taking, there are things that you can all do to help your fellow citizens:
- Support your local restaurants as much as you can by utilizing carryout or delivery services
- Give to a local charity, nonprofit, or food bank
- Do your holiday shopping at small mom and pop businesses—maybe even utilizing curbside pickup
You can also visit Maryland Unites or the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism for more ways to serve.
With your help and with your continued vigilance now and into the New Year, we can all be hopeful and set our sights on a better, healthier, happier and more prosperous 2021.