An Ocean County shore town has formally put a stop to short-term rentals in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The "declaration of disaster and emergency" issued by Long Beach Township mayor John Mancini issued an emergency order on Thursday bans short-term rentals of 21 days or less between now and May 1 or whenever the governor's "stay at home" order is lifted. It also voids all rental arrangements made for this time period.

The order states that the township has limited resources to handle an influx of people potentially infected with the coronavirus. Owners of the homes and their immediate families are allowed to occupy their properties.

In a separate order, the township temporarily suspended its ban on single use plastic bags and banned dogs from bay beaches.

Point Pleasant Beach mayor Paul M. Kanitra earlier in the week said the borough council was drafting a resolution with similar instruction for rental homes.

Police departments in Deal and Sea Girt both took note that many of their seasonal residents are from New York City, which has more than 21,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Thursday.

Deal Police, who also serve the Borough of Interlaken and Village of Loch Arbour, asked any "seasonal residents, commuters, family and friends from the New York metropolitan area (or areas with high Covid-19 infection rates)" to not relocate and occupy seasonal homes. Those who have already arrived are asked to self quarantine for 14 days.

Sea Girt Police only asked renters and seasonal residents to self quarantine. '

The beach and boardwalk were also closed in Lavallette.

The closure orders are easy to issue but not to enforce.

Ocean City police used a loudspeaker at the closed boardwalk to get walkers, joggers and bikers to obey the closure on Thursday afternoon, according to  Spokesman Doug Bergen told officials are looking at other ways to enforce the ban when the warmer weather arrives.

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