Del. Emergency Order Update Eliminates Most Business Capacity Restrictions


Governor John Carney Wednesday signed the 28th modification to the original state of emergency COVID-19 order, which allows most business capacity restrictions to go away effective May 21st. School bus distancing requirements are also updated, and other changes that were announced last week are formalized.

According to Carney, the following changes take effect at 8:00 a.m. Friday May 21st:

  • All capacity restrictions inside restaurants, retail, gyms, other business establishments and houses of worship will be lifted. Facilities can use as much capacity as social distancing requirements will allow.
  • Masks will still be required indoors to prevent spread of COVID-19. 
  • Outdoors, Delawareans should follow masking guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Risk for COVID-19 spread increases in large crowds that include unvaccinated people. In those cases, the CDC recommends that everyone continue to wear a mask. 
  • Social distancing requirements will move from 6 feet to 3 feet.
  • Customers must continue to remain seated indoors and outdoors at bars and restaurants unless a plan for dance floors and other areas is approved by DPH. 
  • Events over 250 people indoors and outdoors will still require plan approval from DPH to ensure compliance with basic precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Effective with summer program, schools should follow CDC guidance regarding social distance on school buses. The agency has advised schools to create distance between children on school buses when possible and to follow masking and other COVID-19 safety precautions. For more details, please CLICK HERE

“Delawareans have worked together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and we still have more work to do. But we have the tools to prevent severe illness and hospitalization,” said Governor Carney. “Get vaccinated. Visit to find options near you. Ask your friends and family if they’ve gotten their shot. That’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and those you love.”