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Restrictions on rentals, out-of-state travelers to Delaware lift June 1

Delaware Public Media

Delaware will lift its ban on short-term rentals June 1st. Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday he’s also lifting the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers and stay-at-home order that same day.



The emergency measures were put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus in Delaware. They remained in place during the Memorial Day weekend, when beaches and pools reopened with restrictions. Phase 1 of the Governor’s gradual reopening plan for Delaware is set for June 1. 


“We want visitors to enjoy Delaware, our world-class beaches and restaurants, but it’s important that everyone remember that COVID-19 is still very much active in Delaware,” said Gov. Carney in a statement Tuesday.


Carney praised the behavior of people at Rehoboth Beach on Memorial Day, signaling he would move ahead with the plan for rolling reopening.


“Delawareans who visited our beaches this past weekend acted responsibly, taking basic precautions to protect their families and their neighbors,” he said.

But Carney emphasized now is not the time to let up.

“We know that as crowds are invited back, as we eliminate the short-term rental ban and the 14-day quarantine, folk are going to be coming back from other states, that we need to be more vigilant about the mask wearing,” he said during his biweekly press briefing Tuesday. 

Carney admitted enforcing these precautions will be harder with more out-of-state visitors in the mix. 

“I think the answer is constant positive education reinforcement,” he said. “I really think that works over a negative approach to enforcement, with an emphasis on enforcement and citation and the like.”

Carney also admitted voluntary compliance with the 14-day quarantine mandate was weak in some places.  
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports most New Jersey municipalities are allowing short-term rentals starting June 1. Ocean City, Maryland, opened short-term rentals earlier this month. 


During his briefing Tuesday, Carney compared photos of crowds at Delaware beaches this past weekend to one at at Ocean City.

“If I had seen this yesterday on the boardwalk in Rehoboth, we would have been having a really hard discussion today,” he said. “But we didn’t. And that’s an indicator of Delawareans really leaning in and understanding that we are a state of neighbors, and that it matters.”

Outdoor gatherings up to 250 people, including graduation ceremonies, will also be permitted starting June 1st. Venues hosting such gatherings must have mechanisms in place to limit attendance and enforce social distancing and the use of face coverings, according to state guidance


Catered events, racetracks, youth sports and other types of gatherings addressed in industry-specific guidance for Phase 1 of reopening must still follow that guidance. State officials say they will release guidance on summer school programs and summer camps later this week.  


Public health director Dr. Karyl Rattay said Tuesday she thinks if people are diligent with face coverings and social distancing, the state can keep new outbreaks “under wraps” even as it reopens. 

During Phase 1 of reopening, restaurants, retail establishments and other businesses will be allowed to open at 30 percent of fire capacity. Social distancing and other public health guidelines will continue to be required. 


This story has been updated. 


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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