The Maryland State Police are among the departments issuing further guidance after D.C.-area residents voiced confusion regarding the area’s various “stay-at-home” orders.
MDSP confirmed on Tuesday that they would not be randomly stopping people from determining whether travel is essential or not. They did issue the following as part of their further guidance:
- Maryland state troopers will conduct enforcement of the expanded Governor’s Executive Order. However, troopers will not make traffic stops simply to ask drivers where they are going to determine if their travel is essential or not.
- If the trooper develops information indicating the individual was engaged in non-essential travel in the course of the regular performance of his/her duties, action can be taken in consultation with the state’s attorney’s office in that jurisdiction. Such as during a crash investigation or a traffic stop enforcement
State police and state leaders have been fielding questions for over 24 hours regarding precisely what these new “stay-at-home” orders mean. The majority of the confusion lies with the fact D.C. Maryland, and Virginia are interconnected; the executive orders are not the same.
For instance, a previous executive order on non-essential businesses shut down Maryland golf courses. Tuesday’s executive order only emphasizes these closures, whereas, in Virginia, golf courses are still open but subject to social distancing guidelines.
A question arises about whether Marylanders would receive a violation of crossing state lines to play golf or pick up groceries.
“We’re being contacted by a lot of folks from Florida, and other places trying to return home up to New England, and the northern states and asking if there are any travel restrictions in Virginia at this time,” said Virginia State Police Spokesperson Corinne Geller. “And, you know, with the latest executive order issued by the governor on Monday afternoon, there are no road closures.”
State leaders stated people can still go out to get food, take care of a family member, exercise, walk a dog, as long as they are following social distancing guidelines.
There is no curfew, all public and private gatherings of more than ten people are still not allowed,
Maryland State Police says as of Tuesday afternoon, MSDP administered about 7,300 business and crowd compliance checks since March 24.
MDSP & VSP’s Spokesperson says that we should expect all police departments to be enforcing the state’s executive order, not just state police.