CENTREVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Queen Anne’s County commissioners reversed their decision to limit their beaches to residents only and instead will limit by capacity — after citing issues with social distancing and noise.

At their last meeting, the commissioners voted to implement residency restrictions on Matapeake Beach and the beaches at Terrapin and Ferry Point Nature Preserves due to overcrowding.

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Queen Anne’s County To Only Allow Locals At Beaches, Piers Starting July 1 Due To COVID-19 Concerns

But because these beaches were acquired with funds from Program Open Space, that decisions required approval from the Department of Natural Resources. Without approval, funding from Project Open Space could be withheld in the fund.

While the county commissioners awaited approval, they began to enforce capacity-only restrictions at these locations.

The commissioners believe the locals only mandate would have helped minimize coronavirus case numbers in their area by restricting exposure to those outside the area.


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“The County is hopeful that given the public health concerns raised by COVID, DNR will release some reasonable guidelines to allow local jurisdictions to better control access to Program Open Space facilities that attract mass gatherings during COVID, including residency restrictions,” the commissioners said in a statement. “We encourage citizens to reach out to the DNR to express your views on such guidelines.”

As for the new capacity restrictions, county staff will be on site at all three locations throughout the holiday weekend. Once capacity is reached, additional visitors will not be permitted until capacity allows.

Here’s a capacity for each beach:

  • Ferry Point – 200
  • Terrapin – 700
  • Matapeake – 250

All parks, beaches, piers and landings are open from sunrise to sunset daily.

For more information on our parks and beaches, visit qac.org and type parks in the search bar.

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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.