COVID-19 restrictions lifted for bars and restaurants, allows sports to resume

DOVER — Gov. John Carney lifted the 10 p.m. curfew placed on bars and restaurants while also allowing sports to resume with restrictions, the state announced on Friday.

Gov. Carney signed the fifth revision to the omnibus emergency order, continuing some COVID-19 restrictions, including a Stay-at-Home advisory and universal indoor mask mandate, to combat the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Delaware.

While bars and restaurants no longer have a curfew in place, establishments still must have signage prominently displayed on the table stating that parties must be from the same household and share messaging on mask compliance.

“As we come out of the winter holiday season, we are keeping these restrictions in place so that we can protect Delaware’s hospital capacity and protect lives,” Gov. Carney said in a prepared statement. “We are balancing the need for a healthy community and a healthy economy, but we can’t let our guard down. Let’s all do our part, and do what works. Wear a mask. Don’t gather socially with friends or family outside your household. Stay vigilant.”

The extended hours were greeted warmly at McGlynns Pub in Dover, and the new closing hour will restore “a sense of normalcy,” according to District Manager Derrick Westbrook.

Mr. Westbrook said McGlynns typically does 30% of its business between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. and that the curfew had hurt its bottom line.

“We’re definitely glad to be staying open later,” he said.

Gov. Carney’s latest modification also allows all games, matches and competitions to resume, provided that the maximum occupancy is 30%. Athletes, coaches and other employees or staff are included in that 30% capacity limit. One person may accompany an athlete as a spectator, and will not be included in the 30% limit, but, additional spectators are not permitted to attend, according to the modification.

Any individual who participates in an out-of-state tournament or competition must immediately self-quarantine in accordance with guidance via the Delaware Division of Public Health. The quarantine is required to last from the time of entry into Delaware or for the duration of the individual’s presence in Delaware, whichever period is shorter.

Teams participating in any practice, game, match or competition where COVID-19 spread is identified by the DPH must immediately refrain from continued participation in those activities and individuals must quarantine in accordance with DPH guidance.

The modification also gives the DPH the authority to issue cease and desist orders to any team with increased levels of COVID-19 cases or who fails to follow protocols. Possible penalties include practice or competition bans.

There have been 63,503 positive COVID-19 cases in Delaware with 957 COVID-19-related deaths as of Thursday at 6 p.m. The state is at its third-highest level of COVID-19 hospitalizations with 451 individuals hospitalized with the virus.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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