Delaware retailers can begin to operate by appointment beginning Wednesday

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Starting Wednesday at 8 a.m., all retail establishments in Delaware were allowed to operate by appointment only.

At Flowers by Yukie on North Union in Wilmington, owner Yukie Yamamoto and her employees have been arranging and delivering flowers over the last few months. They have had to get even more creative with restrictions on supply.

"All the wholesalers were closed, so it was so difficult to make gorgeous arrangements. We cut our own flowers from our garden- add onto it, and people who work for me have a garden, bringing flowers in," Yamamoto explained.

Yamamoto added they will remain six feet apart from customers and constantly wipe down surfaces.

Clothing and shoe stores, florists, and other retailers, can accept two appointments per half hour and must adhere to strict social distancing guidelines.

"We're all eager to get open, and we will do it in a way that enables us to have a healthy community, to have confidence in coming back to restaurants and other public places, and where workers feel safe," according to Governor John Carney.

The governor announced the interim steps to expand appointments and operations as June 1 approaches, which is the date of phase 1 of Delaware's economic reopening.

On June 1, Delaware retailers and restaurants are scheduled to open their indoor spaces at 30 percent fire capacity.

Restaurants, bars, and taprooms, can now apply to expand their outdoor seating capacity to serve additional customers, but they won't be authorized to use that seating until June 1.

Locale BBQ Post in Wilmington already had outdoor seating, but they will be looking for ways to safely grow their outdoor availability as many businesses adapt to the new normal.

"Going forward with the social distancing that's going to take place, I think you're going to have to find creative ways to find space and rethink your business," said Conor Mullarkey of Locale BBQ Post.

Public health officials are working with the Division of Small Business on ways to inspire confidence in customers- including developing a checklist for businesses.

Damian DeStefano, the Director of the Division of Small Business, explained, "It's a voluntary program, but what you get if you fill out the checklist and send it into us is a window plane that can go on your business. They certified they you've applied that framework that we've put forward in the phase 1 reopening, and that you can give customers a degree of confidence that the steps you are taking have been reviewed by the state."

Delaware remains under a State of Emergency which asks out-of-state residents to remain home unless they are traveling for essential business, doctor and pharmacist appointments, or to care for family members, friends, or pets.

Under the order, Delaware State Police have been stopping vehicles displaying out-of-state tags. During the stop, police said the officer may ask limited questions related to the driver's recent travel.

"The driver is then informed of the governor's declarations and will be advised that if they are coming into Delaware from out-of-state, they are required by law, to self-quarantine for 14 days while in the state, or immediately return to their home state," state police said.

The authorization does not apply to vehicles traveling on I-95, I-295, or I-495.
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