Bar, restaurant curfew ends; scholastic sports are OK

Ken MammarellaBusiness, Government, Headlines, Health, Sports

Parsoa Khorsand photo from Unsplash.

Parsoa Khorsand photo from Unsplash.

A fifth revision to Delaware’s pandemic emergency order, signed today by Gov. John Carney, immediately lifts the 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew on restaurants and bars. It also allows for scholastic sports, which are scheduled to start on Monday.

The rulings carry caveats.

“Establishments still must have signage prominently displayed on the table stating that parties must be from the same household and share messaging on masking compliance,” the state’s announcement said.

The maximum occupancy for all indoor practices and games is 30% of the fire capacity, and no spectators are allowed.

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The Delaware Department of Public Health is authorized “to issue cease and desist orders to any team with high or increasing levels of COVID-19 cases or that does not comply with the requirements in the state of emergency order.”

And participants in out-of-state competitions “must continue to immediately self-quarantine in accordance with DPH guidance from the time of entry into Delaware or for the duration of the individual’s presence in Delaware, whichever period is shorter.”

“The Delaware Restaurant industry is pleased that Governor Carney has lifted the curfew on bars and restaurants today,” said Carrie Leishman, president of the Delaware Restaurant Association.

“Restaurant data across the country as well as our inconsistent state data has proven that COVID is not spread inside a regulated restaurant with structured seating and persistent sanitation protocols. Household parties and unmasked, unregulated gatherings are the cause of this latest surge of cases. By allowing people once again to spread out and safely dine at a restaurant, it helps prevent people from taking risks within unregulated settings.”

“We are balancing the need for a healthy community and a healthy economy, but we can’t let our guard down,” Carney said in the announcement. “Wear a mask. Don’t gather socially with friends or family outside your household. Stay vigilant.”

The revision comes on the heels of Delaware’s highest daily case rate and highest number of hospitalizations to date. “Another surge of cases and deaths is expected in the coming weeks as a result of small, informal holiday gatherings,” the order notes.

The revision continues to encourage Delawareans to stay at home as much as possible.

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