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Framework for Reopening the City of Rehoboth Beach
In a continuing effort to reopen the City, the beach and Boardwalk were opened on May 15th. This cautionary approach to rollout my framework for reopening includes exercise only on the beach, and dog walking on the beach through May 21st. Face coverings are required on both the beach and the Boardwalk along with social distancing, keeping to the 6-foot guidelines for separation.
Governor Carney announced even more good news with the reopening of all beaches in Delaware on Friday, May 22nd, to swimming and sunbathing. Again, strict social distancing and hygiene requirements will accompany the reopening of Delaware’s beaches. Beachgoers must maintain at least 6-feet of distance between themselves and anyone outside their household. Face coverings must be worn on the Boardwalk and are encouraged on the beach.
Governor John Carney announced that Phase 2 of Delaware’s economic reopening will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15. Retail establishments, restaurants, and other businesses that were permitted to open at 30 percent of stated fire capacity in Phase 1 may expand to 60 percent of stated fire occupancy in Phase 2.
Child care facilities will be allowed to open for all Delaware families during Phase 2, with restrictions on group sizes and additional social distancing and cleaning protocols. The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) continues to encourage Delawareans to telework during Phase 2 of the economic reopening. Delaware families who can keep their children at home during Phase 2 of the reopening are encouraged to do so, to help limit group sizes and prevent transmission of COVID-19, according to public health guidance.
After multiple discussions, the Rehoboth Beach commissioners agreed on May 26 to permit businesses to use the city sidewalks through July 31. Restaurants may apply immediately to use sidewalks for outdoor seating beginning June 1. The application is available here Application for Outdoor Seating. Also beginning June 1 merchants may use up to three feet from their storefront to display wares without an application. Business sidewalk usage must take into account ADA and social distancing requirements.
Also decided by the commissioners was the utilization of parking spaces as a pedestrian walkway. The new walkway will be located in the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue on the north and south sides with median parking still available. This area will remain open to two lanes of traffic in each direction. The Bandstand circle will remain open to vehicular traffic with 30-minute metered parking. The new walkway will be ADA accessible and ADA parking will remain. Delivery, public transportation, and emergency vehicle access will be maintained. The walkway is anticipated to be in place through July 31. The commissioners determined the new walkway was necessary to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the expanded use of the sidewalks downtown while social distancing.
The commissioners relied on public input, with Rehoboth Beach Main Street’s Survey Summary being key for their decisions. The summary reported 81 respondents from the business community, with 64% requesting the use of city sidewalks. Ultimately their decision was based on sustaining the business district’s economic vitality which is imperative to our Rehoboth Beach community.
Mayor Paul Kuhns
Delaware's Response to Coronavirus Disease - coronavirus.delaware.gov
Delaware's Recovery and Reopening - governor.delaware.gov/delawares-recovery
Delaware Health and Social Services - dhss.delaware.gov/dhss
Delaware News - news.delaware.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov
City of Rehoboth Beach CodeRED - www.cityofrehoboth.com/codered-messages
City of Rehoboth Beach Proclamation of Civil Emergency and Order Concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic: