Delaware Allowing Some Small Businesses to Reopen on Friday Morning

Some small businesses like clothing and shoe stores will be allowed to offer curbside pickup. Meanwhile, essential workers can get their hair cut or colored

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Delaware will let some small businesses like retailers, salons and jewelry stores to reopen on Friday morning, Gov. John Carney said on Tuesday in the first reduction of coronavirus restrictions.

Some businesses like clothing, shoe and sporting goods stores will be allowed to sell items for curbside pickup. Others, like jewelry stores, can operate by appointment only.

Hair care services will be offered to people working in essential businesses, but the staff and patrons must wear masks and adhere to strict guidelines, Carney said. The state will also allow for drive-in movies as long as people remain in their cars.

Delaware has been under a stay-at-home order since March 24 when Carney ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses. A little more than a month later, the governor required masks to be be worn in public.

The move marks the first wide-scale loosening of restrictions on small businesses in the Philadelphia region. Philadelphia and its surrounding counties and all of New Jersey continue to have strict non-essential business closures in place.

Here's a breakdown of the businesses allowed to reopen in this first phase.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020:

  • Small business retailers will be allowed to do business using curbside pickup as long as social distancing can be maintained.  These retailers include:
    • Clothing stores
    • Shoe stores
    • Sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments
    • Book, periodical, music stores
    • Department stores
    • Tobacco and Vape
    • Other general merchandise
    • Office supply, stationery, and gift stores
    • Used merchandise stores
    • Consumer goods rental
  • Jewelry stores may do business by appointment only, and the Governor has instructed the Division of Small Business to consider additional changes like this for other similar retailers.
  • Cosmetology: Hair care services only are permitted to be offered, and only to workers at essential businesses. Guidelines include:
    • No more than two appointments at a time per location (and never more than the number of available staff, so just one for a sole proprietor). Need to leave 15 minutes between appointments for proper cleaning.
    • Employees and customers must wear cloth face masks at all times, and customers must cancel appointments if they have any reason to believe they may be ill or may have come into contact with the virus.
    • Staff must wear disposable gloves when providing services and must throw away gloves between customers and wash hands.
    • Employer must require employees to report their temperature daily -- above 99.5 means they are ineligible to work.
    • Customer stations must be sanitized between use, along with any equipment used for the customer. In addition, any item a customer handles (like a magazine) must leave with the customer.
    • Entrance door must remain locked to outside to prevent walk-ins.
  • Golf carts allowed at courses for 1 rider at a time with proper cleaning between customers
  • Drive thru movies are permitted, but patrons must remain inside vehicles and social distancing must be maintained at all times.
Starting Tuesday, face coverings are required when going out to public places in Delaware as the state looks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“I understand how hard this has been for Delawareans across our state. We’ve tried to find ways to ease the pain without compromising public health,” Carney said in a statement. “But even these limited steps allowing businesses to offer additional services will require strict compliance with safety standards, especially social distancing. We cannot afford to go backwards and see new cases and hospitalizations spike. Getting used to a new normal won’t be easy, but this is the first step to being able to reopen our economy.”

Tuesday, Delaware reported a total of 5,371 confirmed COVID-19 infections since the state began tracking earlier this year. The virus claimed 187 lives. The majority of infections are in the state's southernmost county, Sussex. Health officials have been battling infection clusters at major poultry processing facilities there.

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