UPDATED: Dare, Currituck restrict access to non-resident Outer Banks property owners

Checkpoint at the Wright Memorial Bridge on March 17, 2020. [Kari Pugh photo]

Officials in Dare and Currituck counties have now both decided to prohibit non-resident property owners from entering the Outer Banks as of 10 p.m. Friday, March 20.

“The intent of this declaration is to decrease the risk of exposure and limit the spread of COVID-19 in Dare County by eliminating non-essential travel, thereby reducing the number of individuals in the county and ultimately reducing potential virus spread and the burden on our healthcare system,” the Dare County Control Group said in a statement. Access will be restricted at the bridges into Dare County, which includes the beach towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and all of Hatteras Island.

“It is imperative to take measures to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 and not overwhelm our healthcare system so it can care for those who are at most risk and continue to provide routine medical and emergency services,” the statement said.

Previous restrictions including the prohibition of mass gatherings and the entry of visitors remain in place.

“While disappointing for many people who enjoy spending time on the Outer Banks, these decisions are made in the interest of preserving the public health, safety and welfare of our community,” the control group said.

The prohibition of non-resident property owners also applies to the Currituck Outer Banks communities of Corolla and Carova Beach.

Policies in place prior to Friday’s announcement are still in effect.

Residents of Currituck, Hyde and Tyrrell counties are allowed to enter Dare County.

Workers from other areas with proper credentials, such as Dare County-issued passes, a pay stub or an employee ID, will also be allowed through the checkpoints.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at [email protected]