Nothing can suck the beauty out of a gorgeous summer weekend for the Fourth of July, but this holiday comes with all kinds of restrictions as the state tries to keep the coronavirus from circulating.
COVID-19 can’t stop the weather from being wonderful, though. The high for Friday is 88. Saturday, it’s 78. Sunday, it’s 81. All three days promise light breezes, according to the National Weather Service.
Here’s a few things to know:
Bars won’t be serving
Gov. John Carney and the state of Delaware asked bars in Rehoboth and Dewey beaches to close at noon Friday for the Fourth of July weekend.
The state wants to minimize the chances of the coronavirus being spread by holidaygoers who aren’t wearing masks or social distancing while standing around in big crowds. So check your favorite spot before heading there.
While bar seating may be closed in restaurants, nobody is shutting off the alcohol. Drinkers can still sit at a table and order.
Wear a mask around towns
In the wake of Carney’s announcement Tuesday, the town councils in Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and Bethany Beach — all prime destinations — passed ordinances mandating that people must wear masks or face coverings all the time in the main business areas.
“We cannot afford another shutdown of our city, our businesses or restaurants,” Rehoboth Mayor Paul Kuhns said. “So we need each individual to make responsible decisions for the sake of our entire community – wear your mask when out in public.”
Rehoboth Beach now requires visitors to wear a facial covering at all times in all public spaces, including the beach, no matter the time of day. They are not required for swimming.
Bethany Beach requires masks or face coverings in its commercial district, on the streets, in shops, on the boardwalk and on the beach dune crossings. Visitors should wear them on beaches unless they are properly social distanced, as recommended by the state, but that wasn’t included in the new law.
Lewes requires masks from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the downtown business district until Labor Day.
Restaurants are allowed to run at 60 percent capacity, including requirements to keep tables positioned so diners are 6 feet apart, according to state rules.
Some have put more tables and chairs outside, but they also must be socially distanced.
Most restaurants have been requiring reservations, so call ahead.
Don’t expect fireworks
Dewey Beach was the only Delaware town that still planned a big fireworks display until the state closed that down Tuesday.
As of Friday morning, there are still be two big displays, one at a private campground that doesn’t admit visitors and the other at a Georgetown barbecue restaurant.
The display from Treasure Beach in Selbyville can be seen in nearby areas, but guests are not allowed on the gated property to watch.
Fat Daddy’s BBQ at 13203 Seashore Highway expects to hold its One Nation Under God celebration from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Music will play from 7 to 10, with fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Guests must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. The restaurant will sell food. Picnic tables will be available so groups can sit together. Hand sanitizer stations and portable bathrooms will be available. Guests may watch from their cars. The restaurant has a 32-acre field next to it and will allow people to park there.
Summer parking fees through permits or meters are in effect in all beach towns.
Bethany has limited parking in the beachfront lots between Atlantic Avenue and the beach to resident permit only between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
State parks at the beach
Cape Henlopen State Park, Fenwick Island State Park and Delaware Seashore State Park near the Indian River Inlet — all state parks with beach access — will be limit how many people will be allowed in starting Friday, July 3.
The number of vehicles allowed in will be capped at 60% of parking capacity. Masks or face coverings are required in bathhouse and concession areas. Beachgoers are asked to follow state mask and social distancing guidelines.
For more information, go here.