Out of staters flock to the beach; managing influx will be a challenge

At least a quarter of all cars entering Rehoboth Beach on May 16th had out of state tags

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.

Virginia and Maryland tags on left; New York tag on right

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.


See: Delaware beaches will open in time for Memorial Day weekend

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.

Out of state tags spotted on the way to Rehoboth beach Saturday, May 16: Massachusetts, New Jersey, D.C., Pennsylvania.


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