‘This action is brought by plaintiffs who seek to protect their right to travel, to engage in a common calling or occupation, and to obtain medical treatment…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) North Carolina‘s Outer Banks, a popular beachfront vacation destination, closed its borders to visitors and nonresident property owners in mid-March due to the coronavirus hysteria.
But a federal lawsuit against Dare County, which governs the peninsular communities—accessible to most only by bridge—argues that the county’s actions are unconstitutional and unlawful exercises of power.
Six people who own rental properties in the Outer Banks but do not live there sued the county on Tuesday, demanding that it re-open its borders, WSOCTV reported.
“This action is brought by plaintiffs who seek to protect their right to travel, to engage in a common calling or occupation, and to obtain medical treatment as is guaranteed to them as citizens of the United States,” the lawsuit said, according to OBX Today.
The plaintiffs—who are residents of Virginia, South Carolina and Maryland—said the restrictions arbitrarily apply to them, “solely because they are residents of another state,” while North Carolina residents who live in nearby Currituck, Hyde or Tyrrell can still enter.
The property owners said they should have the right to access their rental properties so that they can get them ready for new renters in the spring and summer.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Outer Banks each year, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
When the county announced the order, a spokesperson said: “While there are currently no individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County, officials weighed the potential benefits for community health along with the tremendous impacts these restrictions have on our community,” WSET reported.
“These restrictions may be inconvenient, disappointing and have financial impacts, however, they were made in the interest of public safety to limit the spread of COVID-19,” they added.