Today, Governor John Carney announced additional restrictions on businesses saying they are necessary due to recent state data on COVID-19. Beginning Monday, November 23 at 8am, the capacity for indoor operations at bars and restaurants will be limited to 30 percent of fire capacity. Additionally, all indoor gatherings outside of private homes must be limited to 30 percent of the venue’s stated fire capacity, up to a cap of 50 people. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Delaware, which represents hundreds of small businesses in the state, reacted to that news. The following comments are from NFIB’s Delaware State Director, Mike O’Halloran:
“Bars and restaurants in Delaware were just beginning to see their way through a summer unlike any they have ever seen. The action taken by the Governor today to reduce capacity at bars and restaurants will hurt. Those establishments that cannot seat customers outside or don’t have the financial means to set up outdoor seating will be in an even tougher financial spot because of today’s order. When so many small businesses are barely staying afloat and many are already coping with strict capacity limits, another reduction in revenues could result in permanent closures.
“The entire hospitality industry will be affected by today’s order. Not just restaurants and bars but our caterers, event planners, and all the small businesses that depend on public events will see their work impacted. This step backward could do irreparable damage to an industry already on the brink.”