Governor requests more face covering in restaurants

September 4, 2020

Gov. John Carney opened bars with restrictions over Labor Day weekend, while adding a few more restrictions for restaurant dining as well.

In his 27th modification to his State of Emergency, Carney combined all of his active COVID-19 restrictions in one document, emphasizing the use of face coverings for restaurant diners and staff, and six-foot social distancing between dining parties.

An employee who does not wear a face covering must have written documentation, such as a doctor’s note, that explains why they cannot wear one, the order states.

“Face coverings are required to be worn at all other times in food and drink establishments, such as when walking to and from tables. Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering at food and drink establishments while not eating or drinking, and especially when waitstaff are at the table,” the order states.

Reservations are required for all sit-down and bar dining, and food and drink establishments are required to ask patrons for their names, phone numbers or email addresses. The establishment will keep the information for 28 days in case someone comes down with COVID-19, and the Division of Public Health would then contact them and others who may have been affected. The establishment need not deny service to patrons who do not provide contact information for this purpose, the order states.

In gyms and other exercise facilities, the order states, Delawareans must wear face coverings when they are not engaged in vigorous physical activity. Vigorous physical activity – or high-intensity exercise – is defined as a physical activity done with a large amount of effort, resulting in a substantially higher heart rate and rapid breathing. Delawareans must wear face coverings while weight-lifting, which is not considered vigorous physical activity, and everyone is strongly encouraged to wear face coverings at all times in gyms, the order states.

“For months, Delawareans have stepped up, made significant sacrifices and taken simple precautions to beat this COVID-19 virus,” Carney said in a press release. “We have made real progress. Delawareans have saved lives by taking the science seriously. Fewer Delawareans are in the hospital today because we’re following those basic precautions. But we’re not out of this fight yet. Continue to wear a face covering in public places. Avoid large gatherings. Physically distance from others outside your household. That’s how we’ll get more Delaware children back in school and more Delawareans back to work. Stay vigilant.”


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