WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware restaurants and bars can expand outdoor seating and the state’s churches can hold outdoor services without size limits now that Gov. John Carney has loosened restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carney’s office on Saturday announced those revisions to his state-of-emergency declaration. A total of 326 people in Delaware have died from COVID-19 complications, the state Division of Public Health said Sunday.
Restaurants and bars can submit plans to expand outdoor seating to municipal or county officials. The state Office of Alcohol Beverage Control also will review outdoor seating plans for applicants with liquor licenses.
The first phase of Delaware’s “economic reopening” plan, effective June 1, will allow restaurants and bars to reopen their indoor spaces at 30 percent of “stated fire capacity,” according to the governor’s office.
“We want everyone to enjoy Delaware’s great restaurants, bars and craft breweries, but we’re asking that you do so safely, in a way that protects our neighbors and members of all of our families,” Carney said in a statement.
Delaware churches and other houses of worship were designated as “essential” under the governor’s earlier stay-at-home order. On Saturday, Carney’s office said they could hold outdoor services without limitations on gathering sizes if they follow and post notices about social distancing and other health precautions, including face coverings.
The governor’s office also said churches and houses of worship should discourage members who are 65 and older from attending services because they are at greater risk of infection and becoming seriously ill.
“Delawareans have (a) fundamental right to practice their faith, but we need everyone to do so safely. You don’t have a right to get others sick,” said Carney’s statement.