New restrictions for restaurants, businesses in Delaware start Monday

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Friday, December 11, 2020
Delaware businesses prep for limited capicity due to COVID restrictions
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Governor Carney issued new COVID-19 restrictions that take effect on December 14, 2020.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Business owners in Delaware are bracing for additional changes Monday that will mostly affect the food, retail, and fitness industries.

The goal at Milk and Honey Café and Gallery is to fill empty seats, but on Monday, instead of seating 60 customers, only 18 will be allowed inside.

Most establishments in Delaware will be limited to 30% capacity under Gov. John Carney's new COVID-19 restrictions.

"30% is better than zero percent," said Quincy Watkins, owner of Milk and Honey Café and Gallery.

Watkins said the challenge is to figure out how his café will make a profit under the new restrictions.

"We opened October last year. We had to close during the pandemic in March and we had to claw our way back in June," said Watkins.

And then they opened the Market Street location two months ago and just got a permit for outdoor dining, according to Watkins.

The governor said the changes are to help confront the winter surge of coronavirus cases in the state.

Exercise classes at gyms are limited to 10 people and exercise machines must be spaced 10 feet apart.

RELATED: Delaware governor announces new COVID-19 restrictions to combat case surge

Delaware Governor John Carney announced additional restrictions on Dec. 10, 2020, to combat the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Retail will be limited to 20% capacity.

Other businesses are already seeing fewer customers come in.

"The way that it came out, 30% for restaurants and then the upcoming December 14 voluntary stay-in-place, some people are taking that as 'we can't go anywhere,'" said Tony Williams, owner of Celebrations on Market.

Williams, along with all restaurants and bars in the state will also have to close at 10 p.m. to meet the governor's new curfew for all restaurants and bars.

"We're going to push everything back a half an hour," Williams said.

Williams said he's working with a skeleton crew with hopes of finding a way to stay in business.

"It remains to be seen. I try to be optimistic about it, but honestly it's getting tougher and tougher," Williams said.