Delaware residents can resume swimming, sunbathing at state park beaches on Friday

Delaware residents can resume swimming and sunbathing on state park beaches beginning on Friday evening, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Effective Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m., sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, surfing, kayaking, walk-on surf fishing and other activities will be allowed to resume for Delawareans and for those from out-of-state who have quarantined 14 days, officials said in a news release.



Since March, beach activities had been limited to exercising, dog-walking and restricted surf fishing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Social distancing on the beaches will be closely monitored, and groups of visitors from the same household may be no larger than 10, the release said. Masks or face coverings are encouraged to be worn on beaches.

Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks will have capacity limits - between 50% and 70% of parking spaces - that will be enforced at entrances and with the closure of parking spaces.

Beach-area and state park bathrooms and bathhouses will be open.

Visitors are encouraged to purchase annual passes to avoid anticipated delays for daily entrance payments. Annual Passes are available online and resume availability at park offices starting Thursday.

Daily park entrance fees will only be collected via the automated credit card machines or self-registration envelopes provided at park entrances for those without annual passes or permits.

Camping and pavilion reservations at all state parks have been canceled through May 31, officials said. Full refunds will be issued.

State park daily entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks.

Annual park entrance passes are $35 for Delawareans and $70 for out-of-state, with discounted rates for military and for those on state or federal assistance, including those on unemployment.

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