Dogs will not be allowed on Lambert’s Cove Beach for the remainder of the pandemic, the West Tisbury board of health announced Friday.

The board voted at a meeting Thursday to ban dogs from the town beach “for reasons related to owners not adhering to dog-waste cleanup and leash requirements,” town health agent Omar Johnson said in a statement that went out late Friday.

“During this pandemic it is of utmost importance that dogs not be allowed to roam freely while efforts to maintain social distancing are being emphasized,” the statement also said.

In the summer months dogs are allowed at Lambert’s Cove before 10 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m., a rule that came about as a compromise after years of heated back-and-forth debate about dogs on the popular town beach. Voters approved a no-dogs bylaw at a special town meeting in 2011, but the next year a compromise bylaw was hammered out. Throughout, there were passionate opinions on both sides.

But with the pandemic creating a need for strict social distancing, the casual Island practice of allowing dogs off leash has been a source of tension at the beach at times this year.

Mr. Johnson said the ban is temporary, and will be removed when the threat of the coronavirus subsides.

“The West Tisbury board of health will proceed without delay, banning dogs from Lambert’s Cove Beach until such a time as the board agrees that Covid-19 is no longer a significant threat to the community,” the statement said.