Delaware prepares to reopen its beaches, but not to everyone

The beaches and boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, opened last weekend, and next Friday, neighboring Delaware will do the same. But everyone isn’t welcome.

“Technically in Delaware, you’re not supposed to come in from Maryland,” Scott Koenig, Dewey Beach town manager, said.

Currently beaches such as Rehoboth are open for exercising, but in-state visitors will be welcomed next Friday for the Memorial Day weekend.

The decision to limit out-of-state visitors, according to state and city officials, is to keep crowd sizes down so social distancing can be practiced.

“I think there will be crowds on the beach, nothing like a normal Memorial Day,” Rehoboth Beach Mayor Paul Kuhns said.

Delaware has not yet moved into its first phase of reopening scheduled to start June 1.

“The states around us, I think, are little further along in their reopening plans in some cases than we are,” Koenig said

For people who own property in one of the beach towns, they can go to them, according to Koenig, but the state’s recommendation of a 14-day quarantine for visitors from out of state remains in place.

Gov. John Carney said non-Delawareans who have been in Delaware for at least 14 days will be permitted to use the beaches.

For lodging, hotels remain restricted on who can get rooms.

Currently, hotels are mostly reserved for essential workers.

“If you just want to show up in Dewey Beach and rent a room, they are not supposed to be renting a room to you like that,” Koenig said.

A ban on short term rentals in Delaware remains in place.

Officials in Ocean City lifted the ban on short-term lodging rentals on Thursday, after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s loosened the stay-at-home order.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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