Delawareans Can Still Shop Across State Lines

Delaware State Troopers stopped drivers with out-of-state-tags on Naamans Road in front of Total Wine this past weekend. Claymont was one of multiple checkpoints in New Castle and Sussex counties. However, no citations were issued. 

While Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents are prohibited from coming into Delaware to shop for food or other supplies, Delawareans are apparently still free to cross into those states to do their shopping.

Governor John Carney’s COVID-19 order of emergency declaration banning non-resident visitors to Delaware for anything other than essential purposes is being actively enforced by state troopers at key entry points around the state. 

Failure to comply can result in a $500 fine or six-month imprisonment.

Many Delawareans shop at Whole Foods in Glen Mills, PA

Carney’s order does not apply to Delawareans who may regularly use stores and gas stations across state lines from continuing that practice.

At a briefing this afternoon, Carney was asked about Delawareans who shop in Pennsylvania and Maryland. One reporter remarked, “Isn’t that kind of the same thing? Isn’t that kind of spreading or bringing in the virus or the chance of that?”

Carney replied, “Governor [Tom] Wolf could create the same kind of order on the other side of the line, but our quarantine requirement is for non-Delawareans coming into Delaware. Our quarantine requirement is for non-Delawareans coming in the door,” he said.

Carney issued the emergency order for the travel restriction to slow the pandemic and help reduce the strain on Delaware hospitals. It does not apply to travelers passing through the state.

All three states bordering Delaware have stay-at-home orders in place and are discouraging anything but essential travel for activities like picking up groceries or medicine.


Fourteen states are discouraging interstate travel

Governors of 14 states have issued executive orders related to interstate travel and requiring travelers to the state to self-quarantine for 14 days. But Delaware is the only state in the mid-Atlantic with interstate state-to-state quarantine requirements.

Many are questioning the legality of enforcing an inter-state border restriction. And some say that the lack of any fines or citations having been issued at checkpoints this weekend underscores the delicate nature of the restriction and the need to enforce it.


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1 Comment

  • I ordered a “grab and go” box of produce from a farm in Salisbury. After Maryland governor said essentially, out-of-staters stay out, I called the MD Dept. of Health and asked if I could go across state lines to get the box. The response was: “Don’t you have farms in Delaware where you can get your produce?” I got the impression we would get stopped by police, so I cancelled my order.