Mayor: Baltimore not ready for third phase of reopening

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s mayor said Wednesday that the city won’t immediately follow some other parts of the state into the third phase of its coronavirus recovery plan.

“We do not want to erase the gains we’ve made over the past month,” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said at a news conference, local media outlets reported.

Young said he anticipates moving Baltimore into the second recovery phase next week, which would allow restaurants to expand their indoor dining capacity. He said additional details would be announced at a later time.

Young’s announcement came a day after Gov. Larry Hogan announced all businesses in Maryland would be able to open later this week under Phase Three. But any local jurisdiction can decide not to open as much as the state plan allows.

Under the state plan, movie theaters and performing arts centers will be able to open at 50% capacity beginning 5 p.m. Friday. All retail stores as well as houses of worship will be able to increase capacity from 50% to 75%.

Montgomery County officials also said Wednesday they do not immediately plan to move into Phase Three, news outlets reported. Howard and Harford counties said they would move forward, while others did not immediately announce plans.