Staff shortage, no COVID restrictions, now restraining some restaurants


ELLICOTT CITY, Md (WMAR) – “It allows us to have more control over our own future,” said Mark Hemmis.

During most of his time owning Phoenix Upper Main in Old Ellicott City, Hemmis was unable to control.

He bought the building last year, moving his business to Main Street due to the county’s flood mitigation plan.

Gordon Ramsay visited, renovating the place. They were open two weeks then COVID. So they adapted.

“This tent and outdoor seating area allowed us to keep people employed and stay in business,” Hemmis said.

From now on, meals in the open air are the priority. So even though Gov. Larry Hogan lifts restrictions on all indoor and outdoor restaurants, bars, and venues on Saturday, Hemmis doesn’t think they’ll be able to go to full capacity indoors due to a shortage of. staff.

“The hospitality issue has taken a terrible hit with this COVID crisis and staffing is a major issue right now,” Hemmis said. “With 90 seats outside and three full floors inside, on top of all the extra work we’re doing with this new global dynamic, we don’t have enough staff to accommodate everything.

The governor’s public inner mask mandate remains in effect until 70% of adults in Maryland receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. We are less than 5% of this target. CMBG’s infectious disease division chief Dr Theodore Bailey said that still left nearly two million people unvaccinated, and just because it’s no longer a mandate doesn’t mean it’s not. is not an important safety measure.

“The state does not impose life jackets on our children or ourselves when we go to the beach or oblige us to supervise our children closely, but these are always things that are wise to do. do to keep our families as safe as possible and I think the mindset in every other area of ​​our life where we take seriously the things we can do to minimize risk, we should always apply COVID. It shouldn’t be free for everyone, ”Bailey said.

Along with Howard, Harford, Baltimore and Anne Arundel, the counties also lift the restrictions on Saturday. The city of Baltimore is implementing the changes Monday.


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