Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach

Delaware Governor John Carney appeared to get frustrated during Tuesday's press conference when he was asked about the difference in mask-wearing restrictions he's issued between Delaware's boardwalks and beaches.

Beginning Friday as Delaware's beaches open for more activities such as swimming and sunbathing, mask use will only be recommended, while they will be mandatory on Delaware's boardwalks in Rehoboth and Bethany.

Carney began by explaining the differences between the two locations in leading to the different levels of rules.

"It's essentially a function of proximity of one person to the next congregating on a boardwalk versus on a beach, and it's the controllability of those two venues."

Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay backed up his logic.

"If people can be social distanced on the beach because they are out in the open air, that is fine, but it is very difficult to social distance on the boardwalk. You might be able to for a few minutes, but there might be a few minutes where there are crowds."

Soon after, Carney came back and addressed critics of masks, including those who point out they weren't part of the initial Centers for Disease Control guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"I'm not making this stuff up, this is advice we're getting from the CDC. And with respect to mask-wearing, we've been up and down a little bit on the advice, but we've been clear since we required it, that it's more for protecting someone else, than it is for protecting the mask-wearer.

"If you think about it, it's really a question of 'Are you just thinking about yourself?", "Is this every man or woman for him or herself?," or is it 'We're all in this together, and I'm going to help to maybe protect your grandmother?

"It's not to annoy people, it's to protect others and the community, so they can do what they want to do: Go back more unfettered in the community, at work, and at play."

Governor Carney required facemask use for all Delawareans, ages 13 and older, in public settings beginning on April 28, Delaware's initial state of emergency began on March 13.

Maryland and New Jersey's Governors have only recommended facemask use at its beaches and boardwalks.

WDEL visited Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach on Sunday, and estimated that about 90% of people on Bethany's boardwalk had face coverings on when they were required, while about 5% of those on Ocean City's boards chose to put them on when they were recommended.