Carney issues dining, occupancy limit restrictions as Covid-19 case count soars


Governor John Carney on Friday issued the third revision to an emergency order, formally imposing restrictions announced earlier this week.

The order was announced this week and was formally rolled out on Friday. Most provisions become effective Monday.

The order came on a day when the state recovered a record one-day total of coronavirus cases.

“These are difficult decisions, but we face a difficult and challenging winter,” stated Carney. “COVID-19cases and hospitalizations are rising in Delaware and across the country. More than 250,000 Americans have already lost their lives to this virus. We’re focused on protecting lives and targeting restrictions where we’re seeing spread of Covid-19. Let’s all do our part. Wear a mask. Avoid gatherings with anyone outside your household. Consider celebrating holidays a little differently this year. Stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”

      • Indoor gatherings in homes capped at no more than 10 people.
      • 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 50 people.
      • Services in houses of worship are limited to 30 percent of capacity, up to 100 people. Additional capacity may be permitted with a plan approved by the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) by emailing
      • Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 people. Additional capacity, up to a cap of 250 people, may be permitted with a plan approved by DPH.
      • Restaurants operating at no more than 30 percent of fire capacity indoors, with allowances foradditionaloutdoor seating. Additionally, parties sitting at the bar must not exceed two people.
      • Delawareans must always wear face coverings in gyms.
      • Governor Carney’s order also prohibits Delaware youth sports organizations, teams and venues from hosting or participating in tournaments with out-of-state teams,effective at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1. The order includes a provision prohibiting Delaware teams from traveling across states lines for tournaments.

    Click to access Third-Revision-to-the-27th-Modification-of-the-Declaration-of-a-SOE-State-of-Delaware-11202020.pdf

    The Delaware Restaurant Association has pushed back against the 30 percent limit, claiming their businesses were singled out, while occupancy limits remained in place at other types of businesses.

    State officials have cited contact tracing investigations that showed restaurants were the most visited venues for people who tested positive for the virus. The restaurant group claims private parties are the biggest source of infections.

    Also this week, Governor Carney announced an expansion of theDE Relief Grants programfor businesses hardest hit byCOVID-19restrictions.

    The expansion will provide up to $25 million inadditionalrelief for hundreds of businesses that have been disproportionately impacted. Qualifying businesses, including restaurants and taprooms, will receive double their original grant allocation.

    The DE Relief Grants program – funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – is providing more than $150 million in direct assistance to Delaware small businesses statewide. The application deadline for a grant is December 4 and can be found

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