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North Carolina's Outer Banks closed off to nonresidents as coronavirus precaution

Residents and essential business owners will need permits.

Officials in the Outer Banks, along North Carolina's coastline, instituted an emergency policy Tuesday that barred nonresidents from entering due to coronavirus precautions.

Dare County officials emphasized that their order, which went into effect at 2 p.m, isn't an evacuation order and certain people will be allowed to remain in the region.

Emergency workers, essential business owners and Dare County residents will still be allowed to enter, however, they must present a permit, which is available at the Dare County website, to get past a checkpoint.

The first priority for access will be given to "essential utilities personnel, government personnel, medical personnel, and damage assessment personnel," and second priority will be given to permanent residents with a valid state ID and employees at "grocery stores, food distributors, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, property management, building supply and hotels," according to officials.

The order also prohibits nonresidents from driving through Dare County to access the neighboring Outer Banks regions of Currituck County (Corolla), Hyde County (Ocracoke Island) and Tyrrell County.

Reentry permits from previous years, such as ones issued during hurricanes, are not valid, officials said.