Gov. John Carney with face mask

Delaware Gov. John Carney wears a cloth face mask while speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic on April 9.

Gov. John Carney on Friday, May 15, released guidance for Phase 1 of Delaware’s rolling reopening. Delaware’s Phase 1 reopening plan provides general and sector-specific guidance for Delawareans and Delaware businesses.

Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening will begin on June 1, the governor announced.

Delaware has been implementing a rolling reopening of the economy — permitting establishments to open, if they can do so safely in accordance with guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Full Phase 1 guidance

“We’re all ready to get our economy going again, and to spend more time with our friends and loved ones,” said Carney. “Since Day 1 of this crisis, Delaware’s response to COVID-19 has been driven by the science. We can’t have a healthy, functioning economy again until our communities are healthy.

“There is good news. Delawareans have worked together, stayed home and saved lives. Your actions have driven down cases and hospitalizations statewide. That will help us reopen Delaware’s economy safely in the coming weeks — while protecting the most vulnerable Delawareans.

“As we move through this rolling reopening, we have to stay vigilant,” said Carney. “We have to keep our distance from one another. Wash our hands frequently. Wear face coverings in public places. This is an unusual time, for sure. But these basic precautions will help us limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect Delawareans.”

As Delaware enters Phase I, Delawareans must still wear face coverings in public settings, the governor emphasized. Delawareans and Delaware businesses also must adhere to strict social-distancing requirements, and follow basic hygiene practices, including frequent hand-washing.

Vulnerable Delawareans should continue to shelter in place during Phase 1, he advised.

Businesses that will open during Phase 1 — including restaurant and retail establishments — generally must limit capacity to 30 percent of fire-code occupancy, excluding staff. Employees who have been telecommuting should continue to do so wherever possible, and employers should close common areas where employees are likely to congregate.

Full Phase 1 guidance

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 211. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Health or medically-related COVID-19 questions can also be submitted by email at DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to