Foodservice Establishments


Restaurants, bars, and other similar establishments that sell food or beverages for consumption on-premises in Montgomery County (“Restaurants and Bars”), and social and fraternal clubs (“Social Clubs”) with dining facilities:

  1. must suspend service of food and beverage to customers for consumption indoors;
  2. may only serve food and beverages to customers for consumption in outdoor seating areas between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.;
  3. sell food and beverages that are promptly taken from the premises, i.e., on a carry-out or drive-through basis; and/or
  4. deliver food and beverages to customers off the premises.

Food service establishments that erect a temporary outdoor structure, such as a tent, for the purpose of outdoor dining:

  1. must follow all guidelines issued by Montgomery County's Departments of Health and Human Services and Permitting Services and obtain any necessary permits from the Department of Permitting Services for the temporary structure;
  2. temporary outdoor structures that are in the shape of a rectangle must at all times maintain at least one side of the structure entirely open;
  3. temporary outdoor structures that are not in the shape of a rectangle (e.g. yurts or dining bubbles) must apply for and obtain a Letter of Approval before being used by the food service establishment;
  4. total capacity for a temporary outdoor structure may not exceed 1 table per every 50 sq. ft, but there must be a minimum of 6 ft between persons seated at different tables. 

Foodservice establishments must follow all provisions of the Maryland Department of Health’s Amended Directive and Order Regarding Food Service Establishments (PDF) (Order No. MDH 2020-11-17-03) that do not conflict with any provision of the COVID-19 Local Order.

Foodservice establishments shall not be open to the public between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.; during these hours, they may continue to

  1. sell food and beverages that are promptly taken from the premises (i.e., on a carry-out or drive-through basis), and
  2. deliver food and beverages to customers off the premises

Foodservice establishments must maintain a daily record of the following information for at least 30 days, to assist with contact tracing - download a sample daily record (PDF):

  1. date;
  2. time; and
  3. name and contact information for at least one person of each outdoor dining party

Foodservice establishments must follow any guidelines issued by Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and, to the extent applicable, the Department of Permitting Services.

Foodservices in licensed healthcare facilities may continue to operate indoor dining provided they follow all other social distancing and cleaning requirements.

Foodservice establishments are prohibited from serving food in a buffet format.

Required Entrance Signs

Foodservice establishments must post signage at each outdoor dining entrance advising customers and visitors that:

  1. they must comply with the face covering requirements at all times when they are not actively eating or drinking;
  2. they must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet when waiting to be seated; and
  3. failure to wear face coverings or maintain social distancing may result in their being:
    • refused service
    • found to be in violation of the COVID-19 Local Order
    • subject to criminal penalties as stated in the Order.

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