Delaware Public Media

Rehoboth Beach seeks more from state as reopening process begins

May 15, 2020

With Delaware beaches opening for Memorial Day weekend, Rehoboth Beach Commissioners want other restrictions lifted, and more testing as an onslaught of people is expected to hit the resort town.

 

Commissioners plan to send a letter to Gov. Carney asking him to relax restrictions on those who own beach homes, but do not live in the state. They’re currently not allowed to go to their second homes.

Rehoboth Commissioner Susan Gay says if out of state home owners are allowed back, it could help the town’s economy more than just opening the beaches under the Governor’s guidelines released Thursday.

"Due to the closure of accommodations, the in-state visitor will just be here for the day, while our second homeowners from out of state are eager to return to their homes and to support local businesses," said Gay. "For example, patronizing local businesses, according to the state's guidance for curbside and possibly purchasing take-out dinners to enjoy in their homes. [That's] something a day visitor would not be able to do."

Gay adds now is the time to ease residents back to their homes, and they should be trusted partners in the recovery.

Rehoboth Beach Commissioners also want help from the state to make sure everyone in the town is safe.

Commissioners want more COVID-19 testing available as service employees from around the state and region start heading to the resort - with some coming from COVID hotspots.

Rehoboth Commissioners plan to send a letter to the state inquiring about more testing.

Commissioner Richard Byrne says it will be needed.

"A critical component of reopening, of moving in these directions and a very responsible step for us to take is to make a very strong plea to the governor's office, to the Department of Public Health that the state bring testing into our community," Byrne said.

Byrne hopes state assistance would make testing easy, efficient, and cost effective for the businesses.

The beach and boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach had been completely closed for nearly two months before reopening Friday for walking and exercise only with significant restrictions.