Above: Mayor Bill Saffo addresses easing restrictions.
WILMINGTON — Local municipalities have differed considerably in how they are reopening different parts of their economies after Covid-19 shutdowns. The City of Wilmington’s Mayor Bill Saffo announced plans to reopen the city on Friday which includes allowing short term rentals but continuing with restrictions on hotels and motels.
Short term rentals will be allowed in a limited capacity and gatherings at funerals can increase from 10 people to 50 people. Another change that is coming has to deal with car dealerships and the amount of time a car must be taken out of commission after a test drive. Previous requirements said cars that were taken out for a test drive had to be out of commission for 72 hours — now — it is only a required four hours and proper sanitation.
When it comes to hotels and motels, only essential employees will be permitted to rent rooms. Social clubs and country clubs will remain closed and shared exercise equipment and gyms will remain closed.
“We are still recommending that people wear cloth masks when going out in public,” Saffo said.
These restrictions will remain in place until May 15 and the city will be reviewing their plan on a weekly basis, Saffo said.
When asked about the decision to open short term rentals but not hotels even though beach towns in the county have decided to reopen hotels Saffo said that everyone has to make decisions that are best for their community.
“From our point of view, the stay at home order the Governor has in place, even in phase one is that: stay at home. It’s not for leisure travel or tourism,” Saffo said.
If and when the city does decide to open them it will take place at a graduated rate, he said.