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Governor's Office Releases Guidance Concerning Weddings & Catering

Post Date:06/12/2020 1:57 PM

We have received numerous calls and messages regarding weddings and catering during the COVID-19 reopening process in Maryland. The following information was provided by Governor Hogan's office this morning. As indicated below, any other questions or concerns should be directed to the Cecil County Health Department.

June 12, 2020

RELIGIOUS WEDDING CEREMONIES: Wedding ceremonies and funerals held inside a religious facility must abide by occupancy restrictions defined in the executive order. Religious facilities of all faiths may not exceed 50 percent of their maximum occupancy at any time. The maximum occupancy load is set in a certificate by a local fire code official or in applicable laws, regulations, and permits. Outdoor services are strongly encouraged and religious leaders are urged to do everything possible to keep their congregants safe, and particularly to protect the elderly and vulnerable within their congregations.

WEDDING VENUES: The capacity restrictions for weddings, funerals, and receptions elsewhere are determined by where the events take place.

  • Events held within a licensed food service establishment must comply with all occupancy and face covering requirements as defined by the executive order.
  • Events held at other specific businesses listed in the executive order with capacity and face covering restrictions must comply with those restrictions. 
  • If the venue is not specifically listed with restrictions in the executive order, there is no occupancy or face covering requirement. However, all venues are strongly recommended to follow the most current guidance from CDC and MDH regarding social distancing, including, without limitation, avoidance of large gathering and crowded places.
  • Outdoor ceremonies and receptions do not have capacity restrictions unless they are held at a facility that is subject to them (e.g., an outdoor pool at a hotel).
  • Events held at an individual’s home do not have capacity restrictions.

The Local Health Officer may issue such directives or orders as may be necessary to monitor, prevent, reduce the spread of, and suppress COVID-19 with respect to the use of outdoor space and/or requiring any businesses, organizations, establishments, or facilities to close or modify their operations

CATERING: Caterers who are servicing a wedding venue must follow the Maryland Department of Health’s food safety guidelines. Food cannot be served in a buffet format. Plated/seated dining is recommended.

All those permitted to operate must comply with local orders, the Maryland Department of Health directives, social distancing guidance and effective cleaning and disinfection per the CDC, and any orders issued by local health officers. You can find more guidance from the CDC by clicking here and here.  If a business does not comply with the required health directives, please know that the state’s local health departments still have the authority to shut down businesses for not enforcing safe practices.

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