Companies can reopen on a restricted foundation Friday. This is what it entails
Here are some of the top stories we’re following for Thursday, May 7, 2020.
Across Delaware on Friday, many business owners will open their doors, some for the first time in more than six weeks.
The limited reopening, which goes into effect at 8 a.m., is intended to provide economic relief to Delaware citizens and businesses who are struggling financially.
But the openings, which Gov. John Carney called “baby steps,” won’t look anything like what shoppers have known for most of their lives.
“It’s not going to be the old normal,” Carney said Tuesday. “It’s going to be a new normal that requires social distancing, requires these hygiene practices, until there is a vaccine.”
Delaware Governor John Carney gives an update on the state’s coronavirus response in Wilmington on Tuesday, May 5. (Photo: Jenna Miller/Delaware News Journal)
The state’s economy has reeled during the pandemic. Businesses across the state that were deemed non-essential were forced to shut their doors on March 24, which has created catastrophic consequences.
In the seven weeks since Carney’s state of emergency began, more than 85,000 people in Delaware have filed for unemployment for the first time, shattering historical records. State revenue is expected to plummet, and officials warn that public programs may get cut if they don’t find the money in time.
RELATED: Some Delaware businesses can reopen on Friday. Find out which ones and their limitations
Friday’s incremental reopening is the first in a series of steps that the state will take to restart the economy. The Carney administration is reopening slowly to avoid a resurgence of cases.
Retail stores, such as clothing, book or music stores, will be able to do curbside pickup. Barbershops and salons can reopen for some customers but under strict rules.
People will also be allowed to ride a golf cart at a golf course, but they have to ride solo and the cart has to stay sanitized. Any person will be able to go to a drive-in movie if a business or town decides to show one, but they have to stay in their car and maintain social distancing.
Last SlideNext Slide
Not everyone is getting more leeway on Friday.
Restaurants still can’t allow you to dine in, and bars aren’t open yet. Gyms and movie theaters will still be closed. Schools aren’t starting back up. And the governor’s order requiring you wear a mask in many circumstances when leaving home is still in place.
What can open?
Here’s which stores can start doing curbside pickup on Friday as long as they follow social distancing rules:
- Clothing stores
- Shoe stores
- Sporting goods, hobby and musical instruments stores
- Book, periodical and music stores
- Department stores
- Tobacco and Vape shops
- Other general merchandise stores
- Office supply, stationery and gift stores
- Used merchandise stores
- Consumer goods rental stores
Jewelry stores can do business by appointment only, as can pawn shops, furniture stores, luggage and leather goods retailers, sporting goods stores and music and musical instruments retailers.
For businesses allowed to conduct operations by appointment only, they cannot have more than two appointments per half hour. They cannot also offer curbside pickup; they may either offer curbside pickup or open by appointment, according to Carney’s order.
MORE: What would an economic reopening in Delaware entail, and when can we expect it?
Mall stores that don’t have an exterior-facing door can only offer curbside pickup, a rule intended to limit inside access to malls and prevent gatherings. That means employees of those interior businesses must walk products through the mall to customers who wait outside.
Want to get a haircut? Here’s what you need to know
First thing’s first: Even though they’ll be open on Friday, you still can’t go to a salon or barbershop unless you’re an essential worker. It’s unclear when the state will open up these services for everyone else.
The hair care business can’t have more than two appointments at a time, and the businesses need to allow a 15-minute window between each appointment for “proper cleaning,” the governor said Tuesday. Staff and customers have to wear cloth face masks at all times, and customers have to cancel appointments if they show COVID-19 symptoms or were exposed to the virus.
Barber supplies used at “Taylor Made Cuts” owned by Richard Taylor, a licensed barber. (Photo: Jennifer Corbett, The News Journal)
Staff must wear disposable gloves, throw away gloves between customers and wash their hands. They also have to report their temperature daily. The entrance door has to stay locked to prevent walk-ins, and equipment must be sanitized between use. If a customer touches anything, such as a magazine, they have to take it with them when they leave.
Hair salons and barbershops that offer other services, such as waxing, are not allowed to perform those services. They are limited to haircare only, Carney said.
Why are there still restrictions?
The Friday openings are part of the Carney administration’s plan to reopen the state’s economy in phases. The state doesn’t want to fully reopen its economy yet because it wants to avoid a resurgence in new coronavirus cases.
The plan, which is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House, requires more widespread testing, hundreds of personnel to help trace the spread of the virus, and a steady decline in coronavirus cases over two weeks.
Carney has consistently said without those things, the state cannot go back to the old normal.
“We’ve got a situation where we still have COVID-19 that’s present in our community,” Carney said Tuesday. “It’s not going away and we’re not out of the woods until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment.”
A FAMILY’S EXPERIENCE: Seaford family shares experience fighting the virus after positive COVID-19 tests
Because the state currently has neither — a recently-developed antiviral medication, Remdesivir, has shown promise but is not widely available yet and remains a new drug — Carney said restrictions are necessary. They’ll likely remain in place for some time, he said.
The business closures, on top of other restrictions, prompted hundreds of protesters to rally in Wilmington and Dover last week to demand Carney lift the restrictions immediately. Those protesters are planning more rallies in the coming weeks.
Members of the Facebook group Delawareans Against Excessive Quarantine and protesters rally to reopen Delaware on the green next to Legislative Hall Friday, May 1, 2020, in Dover. (Photo: Jerry Habraken, Delaware News Journal)
“I’ve heard the anguish in the small business owners voices about just the economic carnage that is visited on them and their employees,” Carney said. “But now is not time to let down (restrictions). Now is the time to lean in and run through the finish line so we can start to move to reopening the economy in Delaware.”
Send story tips or ideas to Isabel Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-324-2785. For all things breaking news, follow her on Twitter at @izzihughes_
Sarah Gamard covers government and politics for Delaware Online/The News Journal. You can reach her at (302) 324-2281 or email@example.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @SarahGamard.
Read or Share this story: https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2020/05/07/businesses-can-reopen-limited-basis-friday-heres-what-it-entails/3088223001/