Calvert Co. Calvert County to Allow Temporary Outdoor Seating for Restaurants and Bars


Staff member
In an additional step toward Calvert County’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announces that the county will allow temporary outdoor seating for restaurants and bars. This decision follows Gov. Larry Hogan’s “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” Stage One expansion, which allows outdoor dining to resume Friday, May 29 at 5 p.m.

“During these last few months, every member of our community has made sacrifices to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and for that we are incredibly grateful,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “Although the risk of the virus is still present, we are in a strong position to continue gradually reopening our county’s businesses along the road to economic recovery – with public health and safety still at the forefront of these decisions.”

Citizens are reminded that it remains important to stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds, and continue practicing physical distancing and wearing masks in public areas.

The Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning and the Calvert County Health Department have issued requirements and guidelines for restaurants and bars who wish to implement temporary outdoor seating. Calvert County restaurant owners must develop plans using the guidance below to ensure the health and safety of employees, customers and the general public. These temporary outdoor seating arrangements will be phased out as indoor seating is permitted.
In particular, restaurants must ensure:
  • Adequate physical distancing between tables
  • High contact surfaces are disinfected after each use
  • Face coverings are worn by staff interacting with the public and each other (if less than 6 feet apart in the kitchen)
  • Restrooms are provided for dine-in locations
  • Large groups are minimized
  • Health survey forms are provided for staff to complete prior to returning to work
  • Use of disposable menus, condiments and flatware
  • Adequate training is provided to staff
In addition, existing approved outdoor seating areas – including open-air patios, balconies, rooftops, parking lots and sidewalks – must maintain operating features per approved Fire Marshal occupancy. Restaurants must implement the following modifications:
  • Space tables a minimum of 9 feet apart (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Limit table groups to six individuals;
  • Eliminate gatherings in the building when entering or exiting outdoor seating area; and
  • Maintain strict social/physical distancing guidelines.
Proposed new outdoor seating areas (to include open areas and/or temporary tents used by existing, permitted restaurants) must submit the following for review through the Office of Inspections & Permits:
  • Plan showing the location of the outdoor seating area;
  • A drawing showing the spacing of tables a minimum of 9 feet apart (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Location and type of barriers to separate seating area from vehicular travelways; and
  • If located in an existing parking lot, Planning & Zoning staff will complete calculations, which must result in adequate parking being maintained for all uses.
Additional requirements exist for use of tents and awnings or for seating under roofs or overhangs. Please contact the Office of Inspections & Permits at 410-535-2155 for instructions.

For questions regarding outdoor seating regulations, please contact the Calvert County Health Department at 410-535-3922, ext. 10 or ext. 15, or the Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-2348. For business questions or assistance, please contact the Department of Economic Development at or 410-535-4583.