Phase 1: Most Delaware business can reopen with restrictions

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Delaware began phase one of its reopening plan Monday, allowing most businesses to open with a 30% capacity limit.

For the first time in months, a dinner crowd came to Route 3 Diner in Wilmington.

The eatery had to make a lot of changes to be in accordance with state reopening guidelines, including requiring staff to wear masks, placing tables more than six feet apart, and using single-use paper menus.

Still, customers seemed excited for the chance to eat out.

"I was hop jumping up and down as soon as I found out he was open because I wasn't sure he was gonna open today," said Carole Melvin of Wilmington. "It's like the neighborhood place to eat."

Melvin and her boyfriend had the diner to themselves mid-afternoon. The owner, Turan Chari, says he hopes more customers will begin to feel comfortable eating out.

"I love my customers I want them to come back. They don't have to be scared," said Chari.

He says he's following all of the state's guidelines, including limiting the space to 30% capacity, a requirement for any business wanting to reopen.

That includes gyms, like the Brandywine YMCA where there was a line at 4:30 this morning of people excited to exercise and retail stores like Tobacco Field in the Brandywine Town Center.

The owner says he hopes opening his doors will save his store.

"Since we opened curbside we had less than 20% of business so this is not enough to continue, said Nad Hatoum, the owner.

The parking lot outside of Brandywine Town Center where the store is located did fill up, however. One shopper says she feels safe being out.

"Do what you're supposed to do. Stay six feet away from people. You know, wear your mask, don't be stupid," said Kathleen Danna of Aston.

Masks are a requirement to enter businesses in Delaware, including hair salons, which can now accept customers by appointment only. Visions Hair Design says it is letting only one client in at a time.

"I'm manning the phones doing the shampoos, cleaning up, extra clean up with extra alcohol, and then having to also do hair," said Annie Zeccoli, a stylist there.

Some other businesses, however, are staying closed, despite the OK from the state. Christiana and Corncord Malls both said they're delaying their reopenings over concerns of possible looting.
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