Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Orders Marylanders to Stay at Home Except for “Essential Activities” as of 8:00 p.m. on March 30, 2020 – All Prior Executive Orders Remain in Place

By Robert B. Hopkins

On Monday morning, Governor Hogan signed an Amended and Restated Executive Order to take effect at 8:00 p.m. on March 30, 2020 that requires Marylanders to stay at home except that (i) Marylanders may conduct or participate in “Essential Activities,” and (ii) staff and owners of essential businesses and organizations (as defined by a prior interpretive guidance of the governor’s office of legal counsel) may travel between their homes and such essential businesses and organizations and may travel to and from customers to deliver goods or perform services of such essential businesses and organizations. The stay-at-home order does not apply to persons whose residences have become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, or to persons experiencing homelessness, but governmental and other entities are strongly encouraged to make shelter available for such persons to the maximum extent practicable.

The “Essential Activities” that are permitted under the stay-at-home order are:

  1. Obtaining necessary supplies or services for one’s self, family, household members, pets, or livestock, including groceries, supplies for household consumption or use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence;
  2. Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of one’s self, family, household members, pets, or livestock, including seeking medical or behavioral health or emergency services and obtaining medication or medical supplies;
  3. Caring for a family member, friend, pet, or livestock in another household or location, including transportation for essential health and safety activities and/or to obtain necessary supplies and services;
  4. Traveling to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning;
  5. Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, including walking, hiking, running, or biking, but only within compliance with the ban on gatherings larger than 10 persons and social distancing guidance published by the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health;
  6. Travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order; and/or
  7. Traveling to and from a federal, State, or local government building for a necessary purpose.

All of Governor Hogan’s prior COVID-19 Response Executive Orders remain in place.

Interpretive Guidance Prohibits Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Businesses and Closes Campgrounds

The governor’s Office of Legal Counsel provided further guidance on the stay-at-home order, issuing an interpretive guidance, which interprets the order to mean that curbside pickup at non-essential businesses is now prohibited because residents of Maryland are not permitted to leave their homes to purchase products from non-essential businesses. Non-essential businesses may continue to sell products on a delivery basis, so long as such delivery can be accomplished consistent with applicable social-distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfection guidance of the CDC, Maryland Department of Health, and OSHA.

The interpretive guidance also interprets the stay-at-home order to require campgrounds to close except that persons residing in recreational vehicles at campgrounds with no other viable place of residence may remain in the campground.

Notice and Enforcement of Order

The stay-at-home order will be announced via a wireless emergency alert to all cell phones and other wireless devices in Maryland as a public safety advisory on Monday, March 30, 2020. Any person who knowingly and willfully violates the stay-at-home order is guilty of a misdemeanor, subject to imprisonment of up to one year, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Further Directives Regarding Essential Businesses and Out-of-State Travel

In addition to the stay-at-home order, Governor Hogan directed Marylanders as follows:

  1. Even essential businesses, which are permitted to remain open, must scale down operations to reduce the number of staff, reduce interaction with staff, and should institute teleworking to the greatest possible extent.
  2. No Marylander should travel outside of the State of Maryland unless absolutely necessary.
  3. If a Marylander does travel outside of the State of Maryland, he or she should self-quarantine for 14 days.
  4. Marylanders should reschedule all non-essential appointments of any kind.
  5. No Marylander should be using public transportation except for an essential reason, such as travel to and from an essential business.