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Businesses now required to follow strict protocols

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Gov. John Carney on Wednesday signed the ninth modification to his state of emergency declaration, further limiting public gatherings and ordering essential businesses to take specific steps to enforce social distancing and fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The governor's modified emergency order limits public gatherings to 10 people through May 15, or until the public health threat has been eliminated. For the purposes of the order, public gatherings include weddings, funerals and related activities.

The order also requires new action from businesses that remain open. Under Governor Carney’s modified emergency order, businesses must:

  • Allow no more than 20 percent of stated fire capacity in the store at any given time – and no more than 10 percent during exclusive hours for high-risk populations.
  • Clearly mark six-foot spacing in check-out lines and other high-traffic areas, including outside.
  • Discontinue any self-serve foods or product sampling.
  • Designate staff to enforce the number of people coming into the store and enforce limits.

“We will take action to enforce these restrictions if Delawareans, visitors, and businesses don’t comply voluntarily,” said Carney. “Our goal is to save lives. This is a serious situation and we need everyone to cooperate. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. If you need to go out, stay away from others. Wash your hands and follow basic hygiene guidance. We’ll get through this, but it’s going to take all of us.”

Read the full text of Wednesday’s order.

The order will take effect at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 2.

The emergency declaration has the force and effect of law. Any failure to comply with the provisions contained in a Declaration of a State of Emergency or any modification constitutes a criminal offense.