UPDATE | Delaware Restaurant Assoc. reacts to Carney’s indoor dining restrictions amid COVID-19 spike

Posted on 11-18-2020

“These are difficult decisions, but we face a difficult and challenging winter,” said Carney. “COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in Delaware and across the country. Nearly 250,000 Americans, including 739 Delawareans, have already lost their lives to this virus. Our focus must be on protecting lives.”

The restrictions will take effect Monday, November 23rd at 8 a.m. include: 

  • Indoor residential gathers limited to 10 people. 
  • Indoor dining will require patrons keep their masks on until they are prepared to eat, not just until they are seated as had previously been the rule. 
  • Indoor, non-residential gatherings limited to 30% of a venue’s stated fire capacity, or 50 people, whichever is lower. This included weddings, funerals, worship services, performances, political gatherings, and events at public spaces, including fire halls. 
  • Outdoor gatherings limited to 50 people, with up to 250 permitted pending plan pre approval from the Division of Public Health 
  • Restaurants are restricted to 30% capacity indoors, but maintain additional outdoor seating allowances. 
  • Youth sports teams are prohibited from participating in or hosting tournaments with out-of-state teams, or from crossing state lines for tournaments, effective Tuesday, December 1 at 8 a.m.

“That’s kind of the point, the logic, behind a restriction of movement,” Carney said. “That is to try to minimize the exposure that one person, one group, has with another, because that person may or may not have a COVID-19…We know we’re coming into Thanksgiving, the implications of that. But we also know we want to not restrict the places of business–particularly hospitality and restaurants–for any longer period of time than need be.” 

He added that the new mask rule was because removing them during an experience is something unique to restaurants. 

“We’re going to require that there be table signs that ask diners to keep a mask on until they’re ready to eat….