OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — The popular beach town Ocean City, Maryland, will close its beach and boardwalk at 5 p.m. Sunday to encourage visitors to stay home in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The areas will stay closed until April 15 and will be re-evaluated depending on the status of the pandemic.

“The number one priority of the Mayor and City Council is to protect our citizens and employees,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “We are facing an invisible threat and we are the carriers of this potentially deadly virus. At this time, we continue to request that visitors postpone traveling to Ocean City and that our non-resident property owners reframe from traveling to Ocean City as well. The safest place for everyone right now is in their own home.”

Restaurants on the boardwalk can stay open for carry-out service only.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE: 

Only people who live within the corporate limits of the town will be allowed to walk their dogs or exercise on the beach or boardwalk in groups of no more than two adults and children at any time.

Social distancing is still required.

“We are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our citizens, but everyone has a critical role to play,” Meehan continued. “We all have to work together to do whatever we can to mount our only known defense against this common enemy and that is to practice extreme measures of social distancing. We are taking these drastic steps to shorten the duration of this health crisis. If every single person steps up and does their part by making sacrifices now it will slow the spread of this virus and help us flatten the curve.”

The mayor had urged visitors to stay home last week, telling them to follow Gov. Larry Hogan’s order prohibiting all gatherings and events of 10 or more people.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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