DOVER, Del. — Democratic Gov. John Carney said Tuesday that he will lift his ban on short-term rentals in Delaware and a mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers effective June 1.
The move amid the coronavirus pandemic follows weeks of pressure from critics of the rental ban and quarantine mandate, including Republican lawmakers and representatives of Delaware’s business community, particular southern Delaware businesses that are dependent on the state’s billion-dollar beach tourism industry.
Earlier this month, the owner of a Dewey Beach condominium sued Carney in federal court, saying the ban on short-term rentals violated his property rights.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Carney also announced he would lift his statewide stay-at-home order June 1.
“We are where we are because Delawareans listened and stayed home,” Carney said in a statement. “While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point.”
The moves announced Tuesday follow several previous actions by Carney to gradually reopen Delaware’s economy after he set June 1 as the official start date for the first official phase of the state’s economic reopening. Carney has described his approach, which included lifting restrictions on access to Delaware beaches ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, as a “rolling reopening.”
Just last week, Carney issued an order that kept the 14-day quarantine mandate in place for out-of-state visitors, while allowing a new exception for individuals commuting to work for “a business deemed essential or otherwise open for business.”
Carney on Tuesday said he will also permit outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people starting June 1, although attendees would have to wear face covering and keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from one another.
While banning gatherings over 250 people during Phase 1, Carney said organizers of planned outdoor large gatherings and events could apply to host a large gathering or event by submitting a plan to the Division of Small Business at least seven days in advance. The state Department of Education planned to release guidance for outdoor graduations later Tuesday, he noted.
State officials plan to release guidance later this week on summer school programs and summer camps.