ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Maryland — The ban on indoor dining in Anne Arundel County is on hold after Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge William Mulford issued a temporary restraining order.

That means restricted capacity dining in restaurants can continue until the court revisits the matter on December 28. 

That comes as Anne Arundel County changed its mind about restrictions on outdoor dining. 

This means both indoor and outdoor dining can continue in the county at least until December 28.

Maryland House of Delegates Minority Leader Nic Kipke applauded the decision. “I think this is the right decision. All of the data shows that indoor dining is a low risk activity. The contact tracers have indicated, it’s one of the lower risk activities.”

Kipke said the action makes little sense since Anne Arundel residents can still go out to eat in neighboring counties without restrictions. 

Kipke said that restaurants have strict social distancing and sanitizing policies in place. “It’s less risky to be in a restaurant than with your family at a holiday gathering.”

He hopes than when the court revisits the matter at the end of the month, they make the right decision. “I hope ultimately the court will agree that shutting down restaurants that follow guidelines will do more harm than good.”

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman was disappointed in the ruling. “We believe the science from public health experts is clear and it shows that taking actions to limit situations where people gather without masks will prevent the spread of this virus and ultimately save lives. We look forward to a full hearing on the merits of the case and in the meantime are discussing other options to protect the health of our residents by limiting community spread and flattening the ongoing COVID surge in our county.”