New capacity limits to take effect at all Delaware State Park beaches this weekend

DELAWARE – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) says there will be new restrictions in effect at Delaware State Park beaches starting this Friday, July 3rd.

The number of vehicles allowed in Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, and Fenwick Island State Parks will be limited to approximately 60% of the parking capacity. Once that capacity is reached, all vehicles will be turned away until vehicle volume within the parks is reduced. Vehicle restrictions may be lifted periodically as volume levels are noticeably reduced within the parks. Officials say these limits will not be managed on a “one-in, one-out” policy, as it would encourage lines of waiting vehicles and people.

At Cape Henlopen, when the main gate is closed to additional vehicles, the closure will include vehicles that have arrived at the park for drive-on surf fishing as well.

At Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island surf fishing beaches, NRP officers will monitor the number of vehicles on the beach and will close drive-on beach entrances if vehicles fail to maintain the 20-foot distance between vehicles, which is currently mandated by the Governor’s emergency order.

Campgrounds and cabin rentals will continue at this time.

Visitors are reminded that masks or face coverings are required in bathhouses and concession areas at all three parks, and are strongly encouraged on the beach as well.

DNREC is also reporting that two of its Delaware State Parks beach lifeguards have tested positive for COVID-19 and are isolating at home. Officials are working closely with the Division of Public Health to notify any other employees or individuals who may have had close contact with the affected lifeguards.

“Last weekend, we saw all our ocean parks go to capacity, we saw a number of people not wearing masks in bathhouse and concession areas where they were around others, and we saw groupings of people and activities on our beaches, including in surf fishing areas, that clearly violated the requirements of social distancing,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said. “This limit on visitors to our beach parks is another measure to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

These limits will be in effect until further notice.

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