Beginning at 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 1, the wearing of face masks will be required everywhere in Rehoboth Beach. Face masks have already been required on the Boardwalk for weeks now.
During a special meeting Tuesday, June 30, commissioners voted unanimously in favor of requiring face mask wearing on all city streets, in commercial establishments and on the beach.
The decision comes on the heels of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Rehoboth and Dewey beach areas, and a subsequent decision by Gov. John Carney to close all bar activity at the beach effective Friday, July 3.
Mayor Paul Kuhns said enforcing the requirement is going to be difficult, but it’s important to get the message out that Rehoboth is taking the issue seriously.
“When you're on the beach, a mask is required. When you're in the water, that’s not part of the order,” said Kuhns.
Commissioner Richard Byrne said the city is at a tipping point, and he said, “We don’t want to tip backward.”
City Manager Sharon Lynn made the recommendation to the commissioners. She said citywide mask-wearing is a simple message to get across that everyone can understand.
The infrastructure of Rehoboth Beach can’t support social distancing in June, July and August, said Lynn, adding city staff will begin putting up signage as soon as possible.