Hotel and vacation rental restrictions in Ocean City, Maryland, are being lifted Thursday, according to a new town declaration announced during a special-called council meeting.
"Effective Thursday at 5 p.m. the provision of the April 28 declaration which extended the prohibition of hotel, motels, vacation rentals and other commercial lodging establishments to rent to those who were not essential lodgers is hereby repealed," said Mayor Rick Meehan, who was reading from the May 14 declaration. This story was reported by the Salisbury Daily Times, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network.
Ocean City banned hotels, motels and rental properties from renting out their rooms to non-essential guests back in late March. The restriction was meant to protect visitors and residents as the coronavirus pandemic worsened.
The town extended the lodging restriction on April 28 to last until May 22, but officials said if Gov. Larry Hogan lifted his stay-at-home order they would repeal their rules.
Effective Thursday the town of Ocean City is also repealing its rule that Maryland residents or those traveling from the New York, New Jersey or Connecticut region must self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the May 14 declaration.
Some restrictions do still remain in effect, according to Meehan. Ocean City's restrictions on social gatherings, specifically groups of no more than 10 aren't allowed to gather, remains in effect.
Ocean City began lifting restrictions last week when it announced it would reopen its beach, Boardwalk and Inlet parking lot to the public.
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Those closures were originally supposed to last until May 15, but officials decided to repeal them early to give Ocean City some time to adjust to the crowds.
Also Thursday, the Worcester County Commissioners rescinded their ban on all short-term rentals in the unincorporated areas of Worcester County.
All short-term rentals may resume in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and all other unincorporated areas of Worcester County, Maryland, in accordance with the lifting of Hogan’s Stay-At-Home order.
The Commissioners placed a ban on short-term rentals on April 1 to stop or limit the spread of COVID-19.
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