Rehoboth to open beach and boardwalk Friday as police prepare for a protest Saturday

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Photo: RBPD

As farmers markets across the state begin to open up for business with strict restrictions, the city of Rehoboth announced they will also open the boardwalk and beach to the public on Friday May 15th with restrictions. At the same time, police are preparing for a protest near the Rehobth Beach Bandstand on Saturday.

Rehoboth Beach (DE): Some may wonder and question why the city would open up both the boardwalk and the beach on the same day, not allowing time to test one or the other to see if those visiting the beach will social distance and wear facial coverings.

In a news release from the city:

The City of Rehoboth Beach will open the beach and boardwalk on Friday, May 15, 2020, subject to the following mandatory limitations:

+ The beach and boardwalk will be opened for walking and exercise from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Exercise is defined as an activity requiring physical effort carried out to sustain health and fitness.

The boardwalk will also be open for the public to access local businesses.

+ When utilizing the beach and boardwalk please:
+ Wear a face covering.
+ Maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet from others).
+ Keep gatherings to 10 people or less.

+ Bikes are permitted on the boardwalk from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

+ Leashed dog walking is allowed on the beach May 15 through May 29. Dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk.

+ Public restrooms will open May 15 at Rehoboth, Baltimore, and Delaware Avenues.

+ At this time, swimming, surfing, and loitering are not allowed.

+ Parking meters and permits are suspended through May 29.

Also, on Saturday, a planned protest is expected near the Rehoboth Beach Band Stand. The protesters call themselves “Re-Open Delaware”, which is a Facebook Group with over 2K members to date. The group want’s Delaware reopened without restrictions.

The Rehoboth Beach Police Department has received numerous inquiries in regards to the Re-Open Delaware event planned for May 16th, 2020., said a news release from the Rehoboth Beach Police Department.

The agency said, “Our agency is diligently engaged in strategic planning with our partners in the law enforcement community, to include the office of the Attorney General, to develop a plan of action to ensure public safety throughout this Saturday’s event.  As these plans are developed any information essential to the assurance of public safety will be provided to media for dissemination.  We ask for your patience during this planning process.”

“The Rehoboth Beach Police Department understands that we are in the midst of period of frustration and that our citizens and visitors want to express those frustrations.  One of the primary missions of the Rehoboth Beach Police Department is to uphold the Constitutions of the State of Delaware and the United States of America to include the right of its citizens to exercise free speech.  Our agency, in unison with our partners in law enforcement, will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance, as well as, compliance with local and state laws and the Executive Orders of the Governor and Mayor of Rehoboth Beach.”

“If necessary, compliance will be assured through various means from a verbal warning, to the issuance a civil violation, to a full-custody criminal arrest determined by the actions of the violator.”

“Our mission is to ensure that we provide participants a safe, orderly platform from which they can be heard; however, we cannot and will not turn a blind eye to clear violations of the law, whether they be civil or criminal.  We ask that those who plan to attend the event take advantage of their right to speak in an orderly manner compliant with local and state laws and not detract from their opportunity to deliver a clear message by participating in act of disobedience open for interpretation.”

“Additionally, we ask that each person attending the event, regardless of their personal beliefs, please respect the other members of the community by adhering to the mandates established by the current State of Emergency regarding social distancing and the use of face masks. The health and safety of the residents and visitors of Rehoboth Beach is our paramount concern. We believe a show of courtesy towards each other, regardless of the issues at hand, is a strong display of public accountability for all to see.”

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