Rehoboth Beach rolls back mask requirements on beach
The Rehoboth Beach Board of commissioners voted Tuesday to roll back mask requirements they enacted just one week ago.
The city will require visitors to wear a mask when entering and exiting the beach, but they won’t have to wear one on it as long as they stay socially distanced from others.
The board received numerous complaints that wearing a mask while relaxing on the beach can be very difficult, especially when people are eating and drinking.
The Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce noted they saw a 50 percent decrease in business revenue last weekend from the year prior. They attribute the decrease to the new mask regulation.
Commissioner Richard Byrne rebutted that contention - and sees the mask regulations as an easy scapegoat.
“Is it a factor? I’m sure it’s a factor but there are so many, many factors and it just bothers me that right away if a business isn’t doing as well or a hotel isn’t doing as well as clearly we would all like them to be doing, that we jump right away to blaming wearing a mask on the beach.”
Rehoboth Beach residents at the virtual meeting praised the change to the regulations, saying Commissioners found a middle ground between beach-goers' complaints about the rules and the safety of the community.
Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.