As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to progress, the amount of information associated with it seems to be ever-changing, sometimes causing more confusion than clarity.
With this in mind, Delaware State Police are providing additional information to specifically address travel related restrictions set forth in Governor Carney’s State of Emergency Declaration.
While certain restrictions outlined in the declaration do have arrest consequences, the primary intent and goal of the Delaware State Police is to uphold their sworn duties by providing information to the public in order to gain voluntary compliance with the mandates, to promote, and further ensure public safety.
The seventh modification of the Governor’s State of Emergency Declaration specifically addresses the requirement for out-of-state persons traveling in to the State of Delaware to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The order authorizes any Delaware law enforcement officer to stop a vehicle driving within the state simply because it is displaying out-of-state tags. During such a stop, officers may ask limited questions related to the driver’s recent travel.
The driver must then be informed of the Governor’s declarations and will be explicitly advised that if they are coming into Delaware from out-of-state, they are required by law, to self-quarantine for 14 days while in Delaware, or immediately return to their home state.
The authorization does not apply to vehicles traveling on I-95, I-295, or I-495.
Troopers will be conducting directed patrols on non-interstate roadways, which have been identified as having a large volume of out-of-state travelers, in an effort to enforce the Governor’s declaration.
“Now is not the time to visit Delaware,” Delaware State Police emphasized in a press release. “As a State and a nation, we are facing a serious situation that is getting worse each day. Our goal is to limit a surge in COVID-19 cases that would overwhelm our hospital system. Per the order, we must control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our Delaware communities coming in from other states. We’ll get through this – but everyone needs to do their part.”
Contained within this modification there are limited exceptions that allow for out-of-state persons and vehicles to enter Delaware without being required to self-quarantine, including:
- Motorists may pass through Delaware en-route to other states.
- Motorists may leave their home state (PA, NJ, MD, etc.) to work for a Delaware designated essential business, to care for a family member in Delaware, or for healthcare reasons (pharmacy, going to vet, visiting PCP) in Delaware.
- Out-of-state employees who work for an essential business in Delaware but who could otherwise do their work from home should remain home.
- The Delaware Department of Justice and Delaware law enforcement agencies are empowered to respond, inspect and react accordingly. Out-of-state visitors who fail to self-quarantine could face criminal charges.