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Ocean City has instituted a face mask requirement for everyone older than 5 on its boardwalk for 18 hours a day.

The Maryland resort town’s mandate, which begins Friday at 5 p.m., is effective from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. for 30 days and will carry a misdemeanor penalty for violators, WTOP reported.

Nearby, Bethany and Rehoboth in Delaware require people on their beaches to wear masks.

The move coincides with a new state mandate to wear masks at outdoor events. Beginning 5 p.m. Friday, people in Maryland will be required to wear masks not only at outdoor events where social distancing could be troublesome but inside public buildings as well.

Ocean City’s mandate hasn’t been without discussion. WTOP reported some council members voiced concerns a mask requirement creates a negative impression for tourists but the town’s mayor disagrees.

“The worst publicity is that Ocean City does not care about safety,” Mayor Richard W. Meehan said, WTOP reported.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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