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Ocean City announces reopening of hotels and short-term rentals beginning Thursday night

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said that starting Thursday night, hotels and short-term rentals will be allowed to lodge residents. The decision comes a day after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland was entering the first phase of recovery and the statewide stay-at-home order was being lifted.

The mayor announced his latest decision during a special meeting with the city council, according to a news release Thursday afternoon. Previously, hotels were open only to essential workers who needed a place to stay.

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The town said it’s working with the Hotel Motel Restaurant Association and Chamber of Commerce to make sure the Republican governor’s guidelines are being followed. Residents and visitors are still encouraged to practice social distancing and limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer, Meehan said.

“Personal responsibility and individual comfort levels are incredibly important to exercise during each phase of recovery,” the mayor said in the release. "Each and every one of us has an obligation to exercise personal responsibility to protect our families, our friends, our co-workers, and neighbors, so as a community we keep Ocean City moving forward.”

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A previous order requiring people who visited New York or the Tri-State area to self-quarantine has also been repealed, according to the executive order.

There are currently 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ocean City, according to state ZIP code data.

The move to reopen lodging comes after the mayor lifted the ban on strolling the town’s boardwalk and beaches last week. Unseasonably cold weather brought sparse attendance to the reopening.

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