Zero tolerance policy for business violators
Gov. John Carney on Thursday ordered a 10 p.m. curfew for restaurants and bars beginning on Monday.
Reports that restrictions were imminent circulated throughout the week as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rose sharply.
The restrictions are less severe than those coming in neighboring Pennsylvania. (See story below).
The 10 p.m. closing time for restaurants had gone into effect earlier in neighboring Maryland and New Jersey.
The amended emergency order sharply cuts occupancy rates at retail stores, churches and gyms.
Restrictions are as follows
- Businesses above 100,000 square feet are limited to 20 percent of stated fire capacity.
- All other businesses, including most retail stores and all restaurants, are limited to 30 percent of stated fire capacity.
- Retail below 5,000 square feet, all houses of worship, and funeral services are limited to 40 percent of stated fire capacity.
- A 10 p.m. curfew will be imposed at Delaware restaurants and bars.
- Exercise classes at gyms are limited to 10 people and exercise machines must be spaced 10 feet apart
- 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 10 people.
Employees are excluded from business capacity restriction calculations.
All new restrictions will take effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 14. Carney’s fourth revision also formally authorizes previously announced restrictions:
- Stay-at-Home Advisory: Delawareans are strongly advised to stay at home and not to gather with anyone outside their household from December 14-January 11 to reduce the dangerous surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
- Universal mask mandate: Delawareans and visitors must wear masks anytime they are indoors with anyone outside of their household.
- Food courts are capped at 20 percent of stated fire capacity, or 100 people, whichever is smaller.
“These additional restrictions are intended to protect Delaware’s hospital capacity and protect lives this winter,” stated Carney. “Health care workers are on the job around the clock, caring for the sick. We all need to follow their lead and do our part to protect others. Don’t gather with anyone outside of your household. Any interaction is riskier when community spread is at current levels. Wear a mask whenever you’re around someone outside your household – even if they’re family or friends. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Covid-19 can cause serious illness and worse, especially for our most vulnerable friends, family members, and neighbors. Please take this seriously.”
Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced a zero-tolerance enforcement policy for businesses during the Stay-at-Home advisory.
A first violation of Covid-19 restrictions will result in an immediate civil fine. A second violation will result in closing until the establishment submits a reopening plan approved by DPH.
Restaurants will remain at 30 percent capacity and must have signs prominently displayed on the table stating that parties must be from the same household.
Carney’s fourth revision caps mall food courts at 20 percent of stated fire capacity, or 100 people, whichever is smaller.