Hours after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced sweeping executive orders Monday to restrict public gatherings and business operations due to the new coronavirus, state police and local law enforcement agencies said they were prepared to arrest those who deliberately flout the directives.
Hogan issued an executive order Monday to shut down all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms in Maryland. Restaurants may continue delivery, carryout and drive-thru services, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Hogan also ordered members of the public to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention limiting gatherings to 50 people applies to social, community, religious and recreational or sports activities.
In a statement, Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Woodrow W. Jones III said the department will work to enforce those orders “around the clock and across the state.”
Jones said his department is prepared to arrest business owners, customers and citizens who ignore the governor’s instructions.
Violation of a governor’s executive order declared during a state of emergency is punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 or one year in jail or both, Jones said in a statement.