To curb the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in Newark as University of Delaware students return to campus, members of City Council voted in favor of limiting indoor and outdoor social gatherings effective immediately. Indoor gatherings at a private residence may have no more than 12 individuals in attendance, including residents of the property. Outdoor gatherings are strictly limited to 20 individuals, including residents of the property. The total number of people allowed for any event (even if split between indoor and outdoor) is strictly capped at 20 individuals. Anyone 16 years of age and younger is exempt from the ordinance and will not be included in the total attendee count.
City of Newark residents will have the opportunity to apply for a permit to host a private gathering that exceeds the maximum number of attendees outlined in the ordinance. Permits will be approved by the City Manager’s Office on a case by case basis depending upon square footage of the residence and the ability to observe social distancing guidelines in place. Permit conditions and application requirements are forthcoming.
Anyone hosting or attending an unlawful social gathering shall be assessed a civil penalty of $100-$500 and up to 20 hours of community service for a first offense For a second offense, the fine increases to $500-$1,000 and 20-32 hours of community service; the third offense will be assessed a $1,000-$1,500 fine. All community service must benefit the City of Newark and will be performed under the supervision of the Newark Police Department.
The emergency ordinance will expire upon the lifting of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.