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On the heels of the Big Apple, another great American big city restaurant reopening bites the dust.

This one took place in Charm City.

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Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young ordered city restaurants on Wednesday to suspend their indoor dining by the end of this week, for a minimum two week period, to start with.

There is no restriction on outdoor service, and takeout and delivery remain unaffected as well.

The restriction begins this week at 5 pm Friday, with the Baltimore City Health Department reviewing COVID-19 data for the city daily to determine whether there will be a need to continue the suspension of indoor dining after the two week period has completed.

Guidelines for masking, with all people over the age of 2 required to wear face coverings when stepping out in public, in situations in which social distancing is impossible, were announced by Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.

“When you’re walking your dog and you’re not around people, no mask is required,” she said.

At present, the dining and masking restriction in Baltimore is one that is local; it has not been applied statewide by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

New York City: ‘Party’s Over’
In New York City, “Phase 4” reopening last Friday was supposed to mean that practically EVERYTHING would be back to normal. But although zoos and botanical gardens opened, museums and indoor dining didn’t make the cut.

That meant that serving outside was the order of the day for restaurants and bars, where a new rule was put into effect, mandating the purchase of food with a drink.

Downtown in lower Manhattan, musicians played for customers who were set up at tables on the sidewalk. Some remembered their masks but many did not.

In Astoria Queens, customers saw no reason not to party, just because they were outside. Over the weekend many forgot about their masks, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio to warn in a tweet Sunday night, “Party’s over. Dedicated sheriff patrols will be on Steinway until further notice. They’ll enforce closing times, issue summonses and work with the NYPD to keep the roadways clear. We haven’t beaten COVID-19 yet. We can’t let up now.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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