SOLOMONS, Md. (WJZ) — With summer in full swing, many tourist destinations in Maryland have had to take action and get creative to keep visitors safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Typically during this time of year, Maryland sees a boost in tourism.
“Tourism is everything. It’s what keeps Solomons going,” Stacey Hann-Ruff, Director of Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, said.
But, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has taken a big hit.
“COVID has been challenging because 50 percent of our visitors come from outside Southern Maryland,” Hann-Ruff said.
Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, located in Solomons, Maryland is just one of many attractions that had to shift gears to accommodate visitors while also ensuring safety.
“Because of all the restrictions, we have to kind of re-design everything and work very closely with our health department,” Hann-Ruff said.
Some new guidelines at the garden include limiting capacity, social distancing and contactless options, like scannable QR codes.
Calvert Marine Museum, also located in Southern Maryland, reopened to the public under new safety measures.
“That included things like timed entry to help cap capacity so that the museum is not overcrowded at any one time of the day to help with physical distancing,” Rachelle Green, Deputy Director of the Calvert Marine Museum, said.
Meaning every two hours, the museum closes for 30 minutes to sanitize for the next session.
While the tourism industry has faced a number of challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, the office of tourism hopes locals and visitors can continue to explore all Maryland has to offer, especially outdoors.
“Maryland has 18 theme scenic byways, along those byways we have great state parks and national parks where you can really get out in the open and distance yourselves from other people,” Matthew Scales, of the Maryland Department of Tourism, said.
The office of tourism has all the attractions available for you and your family to enjoy safely this summer in Maryland. For more information, please click here.
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.