Delaware Public Media

Gov. Carney introduces guidelines for first phase of reopening set for June 1st

May 15, 2020

Gov. John Carney unveiled rules for the first step of Delaware’s reopening as the state looks to begin the process on June 1st. 

The phase one reopening plan permits most business sectors - including gyms, casinos and malls - to open but only at 30% capacity.  Strict face covering and social distancing requirements will remain in place. 

Restaurants can reopen for reservation service only with bars remaining closed. 

But Carney still encourages Delawareans to stay home when they can.

“I guess we have mixed messages a little bit today as we talk about reopening,” admitted Carney at his Friday briefing. “Now is not the time to let down. Now is not the time to just continue to just go right back to the activities in the way we conducted business before the COVID-19 pandemic.”     

Businesses with close contact services like tattoo and massage parlors will be made to remain closed under Carney’s phase one plan - as will sports facilities, children’s play areas and summer camps. 

State Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay emphasizes a need for continued diligence in combating the virus. 

“We have to stay six feet away from each other, and I worry that that message might be confused when we start to go back to what feels like a sense of normalcy,” said Rattay.  

Places of worship will be limited to 10 people, with drive-up services encouraged. The phase 1 plan says additional guidance for places of worship will be announced next week. 

Carney reiterated a need for contact tracing in the state to track the spread of the virus as businesses reopen.

“Instead of isolating the whole community with the stay-at-home and the shutdowns, we’re trying to isolate the individuals who are COVID-19 positive,” said Carney. “That’s the trade-off. [sic] It’s not an option to say ‘everyone is on their own now.’ That is not an option.”

Delaware’s vulnerable populations will continue to be asked to shelter in place during phase one.

Carney's full phase one reopening plan is available here.

This story has been updated.