REOPENING TIMELINE: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware easing restrictions
In addition, starting Friday at 8 a.m., the First State is eliminating its social distancing requirements for individuals and removing the state mask mandate.
Social distancing guidance for restaurants and businesses is reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet.
In its place, Delawareans, visitors, and Delaware businesses should follow social distancing and masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Unvaccinated Delawareans should continue to wear masks to reduce their risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection against this virus and can feel comfortable getting back to the things they loved to do before this pandemic.— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) May 18, 2021
ℹ️ https://t.co/56nxEFYnjl pic.twitter.com/TslUqMJB9Y
Though, Governor John Carney reminds residents that businesses are free to make their own rules.
"I hope everybody respects decisions businesses make. We're respecting people's privacy with respect to whether they are vaccinated or not," Carney said.
The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) must also still approve plans for dance floors at venues and for events over 250 people.
Here are all the changes in Delaware taking place as of Friday, May 21:
- All capacity restrictions inside restaurants, retail, other business establishments and houses of worship will be lifted. Facilities will be able to use as much capacity as social distancing requirements will allow.
- Social distancing requirements will move from 6 feet to 3 feet.
- Delaware will lift its requirement that Delawareans and visitors must wear face coverings anytime they are indoors with others outside their household. Delawareans should instead follow masking guidance issued by the CDC for all indoor and outdoor activities.
- CDC guidance advises that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places indoors and outdoors, with some exceptions like in crowded settings, on public transit, planes, in schools, health care facilities and congregate settings like prison facilities and homeless shelters.
- The order also continues to require mask-wearing in State-owned buildings and facilities, including Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) facilities, Delaware State Service Centers, and the Carvel State Office Building.
- Those who are not fully vaccinated, including children not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, should continue to wear masks when around others who are outside their immediate household.
Here’s the deal: if you aren’t vaccinated, you should wear a mask.— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) May 18, 2021
That’s how we’ll protect the immunocompromised and prevent new infections. If you are fully vaccinated, you have significant protection against this virus, and you can start getting back to the things you love. pic.twitter.com/qmQqieiUeT
- Unvaccinated Delawareans ages 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves from infection and serious illness.
- Customers must continue to remain seated indoors and outdoors at bars and restaurants unless a plan for dance floors and other areas is approved by DPH, and distancing of at least 3 feet should be maintained.
- Events over 250 people indoors and outdoors will still require plan approval from DPH to ensure compliance with basic precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19.