State Police Enforce Out-of-state Travel Restrictions

Jamey Trumbell snapped this picture of the State Police security checkpoint at Total Wine in Claymont on Thursday night.

The Delaware State Police conducted multiple checkpoints in the past few days in New Castle and Sussex counties, stopping out-of-state drivers to enforce Governor John Carney’s order limiting travel to the First State.

The Delaware State Police started the four-day exercise in Claymont, where a number of out of state drivers apparently head to Total Wine discount store. State Police stopped 500 cars there on Thursday night.


They conducted their second checkpoint on Friday morning from 10 am to 12:30 pm at Naaman’s Rd. and Society Drive, in the area of Northtown Plaza. Those locations were chosen because State Police identified them as having a large volume of out of state travelers.

Over the weekend, State Police manned checkpoints around Coastal Highway where 1,284 were identified as being Delaware vehicles and 223 being from out of state.

This vantage point shows the larger scope of the travel restriction checkpoint in Claymont, where 500 cars were stopped. Photo Jamey Trumbell.

While certain restrictions outlined in the declaration do have arrest consequences associated with them, the primary intent of the stops is educational. Police reported that conversations “were productive and non-confrontational.”

The seventh modification of the Governor’s State of Emergency Declaration says out-of-state persons traveling into Delaware must self-quarantine for 14 days. This order authorizes any Delaware law enforcement officer to stop a vehicle driving within the state simply because it is displaying an out-of-state tag. This authorization does not apply to vehicles traveling on I-95, I-295, or I-495.
Checkpoints in New Castle and Sussex County have been conducted to inform and warn out-of-state drivers of the order, including one in Claymont on Friday that stopped 500 vehicles.
Police say the checkpoints are being conducted following reports that travelers to the First State for non-essential business were ignoring the order.
“The troopers stressed that the primary purpose of the stop was to inform and to educate,” said Master Corporal Michael Austin.  “During the stop, the officer may ask limited questions related to the driver’s recent travel. Although violating the order does constitute a criminal offense, there were no citations issued or arrests made.”
Austin said drivers who don’t agree to self-quarantine are directed to “immediately return to their home state.”


Exceptions to the self-quarantine order for travelers, include:
  • Motorists passing through Delaware while traveling to other states.
  • Those traveling from their home state to work for a an essential business in Delaware.
  • Those caring for a family member in Delaware.
  • People coming into the state for health care reasons (e.g. visiting a pharmacy, going to a veterinarian, meeting with a physician).

Delaware State Police Troop 1 Commander, Captain John Laird, who oversaw the Claymont operation, advised that the interactions that his Troopers had with both the Delawareans who passed through the check-point, as well as the out of state drivers who were stopped, were productive and non-confrontational.

Police official say that directed patrols throughout the state will continue, with the goal of achieving voluntary compliance with the order through education and awareness. 


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