In what could be seen as a victory for Anne Arundel County restaurateurs, County Executive Steuart Pittman announced Wednesday he will continue to allow indoor service at 25% capacity, overriding his previous order suspending such service until at least next month.

The 25% capacity applies to restaurants, social clubs, bowling alleys, mall food courts and other businesses that serve food.

The order also limits fees for food delivery at 15% of the purchase price of an online order.

Before Pittman changed his executive order, indoor dining was to be outlawed until mid-January. He made the change after two days of hearings on the matter before Anne Arundel County’s Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs — four county restaurant owners — vacated their case before the court Wednesday.

The restaurant owners brought the suit arguing that their establishments generally aren’t responsible for the spread of the coronavirus and the closure was inappropriate. A circuit court judge entered a temporary injunction on Dec. 16 allowing restaurants to operate at 25% capacity.

As of Wednesday, Anne Arundel County has roughly 24,000 coronavirus cases and 349 related deaths, according to the county health department.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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