Delaware is moving to make summer a little more fun in the wake of a global pandemic with the sweeping lifting of a number of restrictions.
Restrictions by Governor John Carney on staying at home, short-term rentals, out-of-state visitors to Delaware, and crowd sizes will all be lifted on June 1, officials announced ahead of the bi-weekly novel coronavirus COVID-19 update on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
Carney's office announced Tuesday the following amendments to current restrictions in place:
- Stay-at-home order will expire June 1st
- A ban on short-term rentals will expire June 1st
- A mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors will expire June 1st
- Outdoor gatherings--including weddings and graduation ceremonies--can now reach a 250 capacity, though face masks are still required and basic health precautions followed. Such events must receive prior approval.
“We want visitors to enjoy Delaware, our world-class beaches and restaurants, but it’s important that everyone remember that COVID-19 is still very much active in Delaware,” said Carney. “Delawareans who visited our beaches this past weekend acted responsibly, taking basic precautions to protect their families and their neighbors. Thank you. We all need to continue taking steps to protect our most vulnerable. Those steps aren’t complicated. Wash your hands frequently. Maintain distance between yourself and others. Wear a face covering when you’re in a public setting. Don’t let up.”
The lifting of restrictions comes after Gov. Carney said he was "impressed" by social distancing practices and face covering usage at Delaware's beaches on Memorial Day weekend, which had re-opened for sunbathing and swimming for Delawareans and those who completed their 14-day quarantine.
The increase in permissible crowd sizes will only be granted to events where organizers of outdoor events submit a plan to the Delaware Division of Small Business seven days prior to the event. The Delaware Department of Education planned to release guidance on graduations later Tuesday. They will only be permitted if social distancing and other guidance is able to be followed.
The mandatory stay-at-home order will also lift June 1st, but Carney cautioned against rushing to "unnecessary" outings to continue to limit COVID-19 spread.
“We are where we are because Delawareans listened and stayed home,” the governor said. “While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point. Let’s continue to be cautious and responsible as we ease our way into this new normal.”
Guidance on summer school programs and camps will be issued later this week, officials said.