Ocean City set to reopen beaches, boardwalk Saturday

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Maryland’s most popular beach destination is set to reopen its shore this weekend, and a city official has said “day-trippers” won’t be turned away, even though out-of-town visitors would be violating the state’s stay-at-home order.

Ocean City’s mayor and city council decided Monday to allow beaches and the boardwalk to open Saturday after being closed for more than a month to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, news outlets reported.

City Council Secretary Mary Knight said the reopening would give people more opportunities to get outside, and suggested visitors from out-of-town could visit the resort town’s beaches, in addition to local residents.

“If they want to come down and spend the day at the beach and walk the boardwalk, there’s no problem with that,” The Baltimore Sun quoted Knight as saying. “It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, it might be nice to take your mom somewhere.”

But Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan, confirmed it would go against the governor’s stay-at-home order to drive into the city from outside the vicinity for a visit.

“This is a way to give nearby residents more opportunities to get outside and enjoy fresh air, while still adhering to social distancing guidelines and gathering limits,” Ricci said in a joint statement with Ocean City’s Communications Manager. “The governor’s stay-at-home order remains in effect.”

Visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines, though masks will not be required, according to Knight. Some restaurants will be open for carry-out only, but hotels and most boardwalk shops will remain closed, she added.

The state reported Monday that there have been 26,408 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Maryland, up 946 cases from the day before, and 1,216 confirmed deaths from the virus.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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