Week 11: State prepares for Phase 1 reopening

Over Memorial Day weekend, crowds stay away from Cape Region beaches
May 27, 2020

In time for the Memorial Day weekend, Gov. John Carney lifted restrictions on the use of Delaware beaches to allow regular beach activities with social distancing restrictions in place. Under Carney’s order, face coverings must to worn on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk and are requested to be worn on the beach when social distancing can’t be practiced.

Turnouts at Cape Region beaches were light throughout the weekend, thanks in part to cold, damp conditions on May 15 and May 17.

Other events during the week:

On May 26, Carney announced that restrictions on short-term rentals and the 14-day out-of-state visitor quarantine will be lifted at 8 a.m. Monday, June 1, when state officials initiate Phase 1 of the economic reopening plan. In addition, outdoor events and ceremonies – including weddings, funerals and graduations – will be permitted for up to 250 people as long as safe health practices can be maintained. Larger events coordinators can apply for a special permit through the Delaware Division of Small Business.

Phase 1 is scheduled to begin on June 1, allowing retail establishments, restaurants, retail, malls, tanning salons, hair salons and barbershops, fitness centers and other businesses to open at 30 percent of fire capacity with social distancing requirements and other public health guidance in place. Also allowed to open, with restrictions, are museums, arts and cultural centers and historical attractions

Not permitted to open: schools; summer camps; close-contact personal services such as nail salons and tattoo parlors; convention centers and meeting facilities; water parks and indoor and outdoor children’s facilities.

Sporting facilities and venues including arcades, bowling alleys, dance studios, indoor tennis and other similar indoor sporting activities are not permitted to open but have an option to provide a facility specific plan to state health officials.

Youth sports can resume if social distancing is practiced at all times with no contact between participants or coaches; competitions are not allowed. Groups are limited to 10 youth per group. Dry-land training only for swimmers. Swim team practices and meets are not permitted in Phase 1.

Racetracks can open with no fans; motor racing is not included in Phase 1.

• Some medical facilities, including Beebe Healthcare, will start elective procedures June 1.

• Delaware State Parks campgrounds will reopen June 1 after being closed since mid-March.

• Churches can conduct outdoor services with no limitation on sizes of groups as long as social distancing can be followed. Families can sit together but must have a 6-foot social-distancing radius around them. It’s recommended that members 65 years of age and older be discouraged from attending services due to a possible health risk.

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