BALTIMORE, MD — Two Federal Hill restaurants that were ordered Nov. 1 to close temporarily for violating coronavirus regulations have again been slapped with violations.
On Friday, both The Charles and Banditos in the 1100 block of South Charles Street were found to be in violation of COVID restrictions.
At The Charles, officials said they determined social distancing was not being practiced, facial coverings were lacking and patrons were standing and drinking at the upstairs bar.
By executive order of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, people must wear face coverings in restaurants when they are not consuming food or drinking; and food service establishments may not serve customers who are not seated. Restaurants are also advised to modify floor plans to ensure patrons are seated at least 6 feet away from each other, except for those who share households.
Next door to The Charles at Banditos, the Baltimore City Health Department reported lack of social distancing and facial coverings not being worn by patrons, also on Friday, Nov. 6.
It was the second time in one week the businesses had been shuttered.
The Baltimore City Health Department cited Banditos for lack of social distancing; face coverings lacking by staff and patrons; and patrons standing and drinking at the bar on Nov. 1. The restaurant was allowed to reopen Nov. 2.
The Charles was also closed Nov. 1 due to lack of social distancing and because patrons had been standing and drinking at the bar Nov. 1. It, too, was given the OK to reopen Nov. 2.
Banditos and The Charles are among the handful of restaurants that have been cited for violating coronavirus restrictions.
Noir in the 5700 block of York Road was closed Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 after authorities said the restaurant and lounge operated above the permitted 25 percent capacity; allowed customers inside and operated an indoor bar after the 10 p.m. curfew mandated by the mayor; and failed to practice social distancing.
On Friday, Oct. 30, Noir was also forced to shutter again. Officials shut it down because patrons were drinking without being seated; the business was above the 50 percent capacity; customers were walking around without masks; and people were not keeping their distance, according to the health department.
As coronavirus cases surge in Baltimore City in early November, the mayor announced he was putting new restrictions in place.
As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, Baltimore restaurants will be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, bars that are not licensed for food services will not be permitted to open and food service establishments must close indoor dining at 10 p.m.
In Baltimore officials say 19,358 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, and 499 people have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, as of Monday.