Saturday’s high-seventies temps and sunny skies – along with the first easing of restrictions on accessing Delaware’s beaches and boardwalks for walking and exercise– were just too tempting for droves of visitors, including not a few out of state residents.
By our unofficial tally, at least a quarter of all auto traffic heading into Rehoboth on Saturday was from out of state.
Cars and SUVs from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts all entered town down Rehoboth Avenue, with many out of state cars parked along the avenue and individuals were observed exiting non-DE cars in parking lots.
More than half the customers at the window of one coffee shop emerged from out-of-state registered vehicles.
As the state prepares to fully reopen beaches for this Memorial Day weekend, effectively enforcing the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors is certain to prove challenging.
Governor John Carney announced on Thursday that state beaches and pools could reopen on Friday May 22, but his order stressed that the only non-Delawareans permitted to use the beaches were those who have been in the state for 14 days.
From Carney’s order:
To enforce the out-of-state quarantine as Delaware beaches reopen, Delaware State Police will station troopers at routes typically used by out-of-state travelers. Travelers will be stopped, asked a series of questions, and given information about the 14-day quarantine requirement under Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration. Violations of the emergency declaration, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense.
There was no strong presence of State Troopers monitoring for out-of-state visitors on Saturday. Given the likely increase in beachgoers for Memorial Day weekend, carrying out this screening will require significant resources and logistical considerations.