Tourism is something that Ocean City businesses depend on for their annual income, especially those around the boardwalk. And as with countless shops across the U.S., business owners on the beach felt the impact of coronavirus over the summer.
But since the end of July 2020, additional mask mandates on the boardwalk allowed patrons to visit their favorite places in Ocean City safely. Because boardwalks can be shoulder to shoulder crowded, this ruling brought more tourists who were nervous about socially distancing themselves back to the beach.
This move undoubtedly helped the town increase its bottom line for the year.
Lifted Restrictions at the Beach
With cooler temperatures approaching, the tourist season is all but ending, and the town of Ocean City decided to lift the mask mandate for the boardwalk on September 30, 2020. The ruling came despite Governor Hogan’s continued statewide mandate, which is still in effect.
So, even though the time-specific additional mandate is no longer present for the boardwalk, the area still falls under the governor’s mask requirement, and beachgoers need to adhere to the rules. When social distancing is difficult, those on the boardwalk and frequenting the shops there must still wear a mask to protect themselves and others.
Smart Moves for Visitors and Residents
The continued statewide mandate is evidence that visitors and residents need to stay vigilant in practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when that’s not possible. And even though fears of the virus might be fading, everyone needs to pay attention to how they feel before heading to the boardwalk.
Drive-thru testing tents are still set up for those who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus and are experiencing symptoms. If you need a test before going to the beach or the boardwalk, visit a testing station to ensure you’re not adding to the spread.
Businesses along the boardwalk already have their own restrictions and requirements to follow to keep their doors open. So, any additional precautions patrons can take before their visit will only contribute to the greater good.
Events like the fall Special Event Zone bring large crowds to Ocean City, and any gathering at this time must have an abundance of caution weaved in. Testing tents and sanitization areas can bring an element of safety and peace of mind to annual events in the area.
With Halloween and spooky gatherings right around the corner and guidelines from the CDC addressing trick or treating, haunted houses, and Halloween parties, event planners need to think about safe participation. After all, who wants to plan a gathering and have no one show up or have their participants become sick?
Built-in safety measures will go a long way to increasing attendance for events that residents and businesses have come to expect over the years.
Don’t Miss Out on the Sandy Beach and Salt Air
Going to the beach and walking the boardwalk are two things residents and visitors of the eastern shore look forward to annually. Even though this year brought challenges never seen before, people still want their time at the beach. Not only that, Ocean City businesses depend on summer tourism for their way of life and survival in the off-season.
Working together by adhering to the rules and visiting a testing tent when necessary, gives everyone the chance to continue with life and enjoy all the city has to offer. It’s a small price to pay in order to feel the sand on your feet and breathe in that salt air while savoring your Boardwalk Fries or buying your commemorative t-shirt to mark your visit.