Will you be required to wear a mask at the beach? An update on beach mask policies

Ocean city, Maryland aerial view of the boardwalk and beach(Getty Images/iStockphoto/abriggs21)
As coronavirus cases increase again, the CDC released updated mask guidance and more and more areas are turning back to mask mandates.

So, will masks be required again for your summer beach getaway?

The answer is maybe.

In Ocean City, Maryland, because cases are down right now, those headed to the beach won’t be required to wear a mask.

Cases are increasing in Virginia Beach, but officials say they’re waiting to see if Virginia imposes a mask mandate before deciding whether they will follow suit.

“As our case numbers continue to increase, we encourage the wearing of masks, particularly in indoor settings where there may be large numbers of individuals gathered, specifically those who may have an immune compromised condition and children under 12, who we know are not vaccinated,” said Parham Jaberi, Acting Health Director for the Virginia Beach Public Health Department.

At the Delaware beaches in Rehoboth and Dewy, cases are also rising but officials say they’re also waiting to hear from the state to see if there will be a mask mandate imposed first.

At the Outer Banks in North Carolina, Dare County’s Health and Human Services Director Sheila Davies said she recommended to the county manager that a mandatory mask mandate be imposed for county facilities.

Jaberi said that Virginia Beach will have vaccines ready and available for visitors.

“We are more than happy to vaccinate the tourists that intend to spend some time in our community,” Jaberi said.

He said there are free vaccinations available at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk, Virginia, for anyone interested.

Jaberi also said that people should not forget that testing is still an important part of the pandemic. He urged those who are feeling ill to get tested.

“It’s important from a public health sense whether you’re a resident or a tourist, to immediately get tested, and isolate yourself if you are symptomatic until you get your results back. So we want to prevent the spread.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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