April 8, 2020

All three local jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (the “DMV”) have issued stay-at-home orders (“Orders”) effective March 30, 2020.  These Orders will remain in effect (unless extended), through April 24, 2020 in the District, June 10, 2020 in Virginia, and indefinitely in Maryland.  While all the Orders have substantial similarities, there are some notable differences.

In  terms of the similarities, all of the Orders essentially require that most residents remain in their home except for limited “essential” reasons: obtaining food, supplies, services, medications, medical attention, travel to work (if the resident’s business is deemed essential or to maintain minimum operations of non-essential businesses), travel to care for a family member, friend or pet in another household, outdoor exercise abiding by social distancing requirements (e.g., 6 ft separations, disinfecting equipment, etc.), travel required by law enforcement or court order, etc.

For our Maryland clients, you are reminded that each locality may enact its own more stringent requirements, so please contact us if you have questions about the Orders in effect in your specific locality.

In terms of notable differences of key provisions impacting the entire DMV:


In Maryland, persons traveling into Maryland must self-quarantine for 14 days unless the person regularly commutes into Maryland from an adjacent state/D.C. OR the person is transiting through Maryland and may stop (for gas, fuel, food or other necessary supplies), provided that they not make contact with anyone for more than 3 minutes at distance of less than 6 feet.

In D.C., travel into the District to return to a residence in the District is permitted, and travel out of D.C. to a residence in a different jurisdiction is permitted (subject to the different jurisdiction’s travel restrictions), and travel within the “Washington region” to engage in allowable activities under that jurisdiction’s laws is permitted.  The Virginia Order does not specifically mention inter-jurisdictional travel.

In D.C. and Virginia, travel to and from a house of worship is permitted, while there is no express allowance in Maryland.


In Maryland and Virginia, most outdoor exercise is permitted provided social distancing is followed. In D.C., outdoor exercise is permitted, but limited to members of the same  household.

In Maryland, certain outdoor exercise venues (e.g., public and private golf courses, campgrounds, etc.) are closed, while Virginia and D.C. appear to mainly focus on whether the venue is enclosed and if social distancing guidelines can be followed at the exterior venue.  All jurisdictions have ordered gymnasiums, fitness centers, bowling alleys, and similar establishments closed.  D.C. has specifically ordered that building residents not linger in common areas and residents shall NOT use building facilities such as gyms, party rooms, lounges, rooftop or courtyard spaces.

Visiting Family

In Maryland, travel is permitted to “care” for a family member, friend or pet in another household.  In D.C. such travel must be connected with caregiving (i.e., the visit must be to help a person with activities of daily living, supervision of children, or otherwise helping with the physical needs and safety of someone who cannot attend to those needs by himself or herself).  In Virginia, such travel may be for “taking care” of other individuals, animals or “visiting the home of a family member”.

Gatherings of more than 10 persons

All three jurisdictions prohibit gatherings of more than ten persons (not connected to a business or service deemed essential,) and provided social distancing is enforced.

We will continue to try and keep our clients updated on the changing restrictions.  We are open and working to assist our clients as we move through this difficult time.  Please reach out to any of our attorneys.


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