Bar curfew, retail restrictions in latest emergency order

December 10, 2020

Gov. John Carney enacted a curfew for bars and restaurants and further limited capacity at retail establishments in an emergency order announced Dec. 10.

“These additional restrictions are intended to protect Delaware’s hospital capacity and protect lives this winter,” Carney said in a press release. “Healthcare workers are on the job around the clock, caring for the sick. We all need to follow their lead and do our part to protect others. Don’t gather with anyone outside of your household. Any interaction is riskier when community spread is at current levels. Wear a mask whenever you’re around someone outside your household - even if they’re family or friends. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. COVID-19 can cause serious illness and worse, especially for our most vulnerable friends, family members, and neighbors. Please take this seriously.”

The restrictions include:  

  • Businesses above 100,000 square feet are limited to 20 percent of stated fire capacity. 
  • All other businesses, including most retail stores and all restaurants, are limited to 30 percent of stated fire capacity. 
  • Retail below 5,000 square feet, all houses of worship, and funeral services are limited to 40 percent of stated fire capacity. 
  • A 10 p.m. curfew will be imposed at Delaware restaurants and bars.
  • Exercise classes at gyms are limited to 10 people and exercise machines must be spaced 10 feet apart
  • Indoor gatherings at businesses or indoor spaces open to the public must be limited to the lesser of 30 percent of the venue’s stated fire capacity, or 10 people. 

Employees are excluded from business capacity restriction calculations. 

All new restrictions will take effect at 8 a.m., Monday, Dec. 14. Carney’s fourth revision also formally authorizes his previously announced stay-at-home advisory and universal mask mandate.

Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health also announced a zero-tolerance enforcement policy for businesses during the stay-at-home advisory. A first violation of COVID-19 restrictions will result in an immediate civil fine. A second violation will result in closure, until the establishment submits a reopening plan approved by DPH.

Restaurants will remain at 30 percent capacity, but must have signage prominently displayed on the table stating that parties must be from the same household. Restaurants also must share messaging on masking compliance. Carney’s fourth revision caps mall food courts at 20 percent of stated fire capacity, or 100 people, whichever is smaller.


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