Ocean City police watch the Boardwalk at Fifth Street on Wednesday for people not maintaining current social-distancing rules. The city later announced it was closing the Boardwalk and beaches to the public.

OCEAN CITY — Mayor Jay Gillian ordered all beaches and the Boardwalk closed, according to a letter posted on the city's website Wednesday afternoon.

An administrative order issued by the state gives municipalities the discretion to do so, Gillian said. Ocean City has a high number of senior residents, and the order is being given to protect them, Gillian said.

"Even with all the directives already in place, it’s clear that not everybody is taking the order to shelter in place seriously," Gillian said. "With the weather getting warmer, it will only get worse. I fully understand the impact that this will have on Ocean City, but I will always err on the side of caution."

Earlier on Wednesday, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small and Council President George Tibbitt dismissed the idea of taking a similar precaution in the resort. 

“There’s no way in hell you can shut(down) that Boardwalk,” Tibbitt said Wednesday morning. “People have to have some type of relief, and that Boardwalk and beach are the best (ways) to stay by themselves, or jog, walk or ride a bike. Dumbest thing I ever heard was closing the boardwalks.”

​Contact: 609-272-7260


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