The new regulations come days after Governor Larry Hogan increased mask restrictions across the state.

Officials in two Maryland counties are adding ordinances to help encourage the use of masks and keep the coronavirus from spreading. In Talbot County, the county council voted to impose a $1000 fine to anyone found not wearing a mask, and in Ocean City, a new rule will require masks to be worn on the Boardwalk from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. 

Ocean City has seen an upswing in cases in the past few weeks and is trying to flatten the curve for tourists and businesses. The rate of infection in Talbot County has remained stable, but officials want to increase adhereance to the mask rules, especialy in towns the are popular stops on the way to Ocean City.

Both regulations supplement the order issued on July 31 by Governor Larry Hogan that require anyone over the age of five to wear a mask in public indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. The declaration by Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan only applies to the boardwalk, not the rest of the town. 

“Ocean City will continue to take the all actions necessary to keep our residents, staff and visitors safe, as safety is always our top priority,” said Meehan. “We urge everyone to please also continue practicing physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings and take all the same precautions you take at home when you’re visiting Ocean City. Taking these actions seriously and practicing personal responsibility will help us move Ocean City and the rest of the state forward.”

Courtesy Christa Emmer

Visitors and residents of Talbot County could face fines and license suspension if they flout the rules. The resolution recommends a warning be issued the first time someone is caught without a mask and a $1000 fine issued the second time. Persons caught without a mask for the third time that hold a liquor or food service license could face suspension of those licenses. Both mask ordinances will remain in place until further notice.