Retail stores allowed to open by appointment May 20

Restaurants allowed to apply for outdoor seating for expanded capacity
May 19, 2020

Gov. John Carney has announced all retail stores can open for business by appointment Wednesday, May 20.

Under the interim steps, all retail establishments in Delaware may operate by appointment only. These include clothing and shoe stores, used merchandise retailers and florists, which can accept two appointments per half hour and must adhere to strict social distancing and cleaning guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Carney also said restaurants, bars, taprooms and craft breweries may apply to expand outdoor seating capacity to safely serve additional customers when the businesses reopen in June. Applications to expand outdoor seating will be available Friday, May 22, and expansions would be authorized to begin on June 1.

Delaware retailers and restaurants are scheduled to open their indoor spaces at 30 percent of stated fire capacity during Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening, beginning June 1. The additional interim steps announced May 19 will give retailers and restaurants additional new ways to safely expand their operations by appointment and outdoors. 

“This is another step forward in the rolling reopening of Delaware’s economy,” Carney said. “It’s our hope that these additional steps will safely bring some relief to Delaware businesses and workers who have made real financial sacrifices during this COVID-19 crisis. But as we reopen, Delawareans should stay vigilant. Keep your distance from others. Wear a face covering in public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. That’s how we’ll limit community spread of COVID-19 and get Delaware’s economy going again.”

Under the order, all Delaware food and drink establishments may apply to their local municipal or county jurisdiction to expand their outdoor seating capacity. Plans for adding outdoor capacity must consider local traffic patterns and noise ordinances. Boundaries must be clearly defined to prevent beverages from being carried offsite. Applicants that hold a liquor license must also have their plans reviewed by the Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control prior to receiving approval.

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