Ocean City, Md. to Open Beaches in Time for Mother’s Day, but There Are Still Restrictions (Video)
The state remains under a stay at home order.
The beaches in Ocean City, Md., are reopening this weekend in time for Mother’s Day — a week earlier than originally scheduled, town officials said.
While the state remains under a stay at home order, the town decided to open the beaches and boardwalk to residents and those who live in the surrounding area starting Saturday, May 9, a spokeswoman for the town confirmed to Travel + Leisure. The town is, however, discouraging people who live further away from coming.
Additionally, non-essential businesses will still remain closed and people are asked to continue physical distancing, according to the town.
Maryland has been under a stay at home order since March 30. In total, more than 28,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the state, including 86 cases in Worcester County, where Ocean City is located, according to the Maryland Department of Health.
“First and foremost we're following the state of Maryland’s roadmap to recovery,” the spokeswoman said. “This in no way supersedes the governor’s stay home order.”
The move follows several other beach openings, including in Florida and South Carolina. Similarly, California has opened several of its beaches and been forced to deal with crowds flocking to the sand and sun, ABC7 reported.
“We don't expect people to be coming from all over to use the beaches,” she told T+L of Maryland's opening. “We still don't believe lifting the order will be an opening for everything like it would normally on a Mother's Day weekend.”
“This allows for us to slowly phase into what the new normal of the summer season will be,” she added.
For its part, Ocean City still has restrictions on lodging, Waters said. Only essential lodgers can stay in places like hotels, according to the town, including healthcare workers and first responders.
Ocean City is known for its wide stretches of sand, an affinity for crab, and famed carousel at Trimper's Rides. The ride is one of the oldest continuously operating carousels and was installed in Maryland in 1912.