COVID-19 Updates


Special Update - June 30

New Limits Set for Beaches

In accordance with Gov. Carney’s goal of limiting interactions among people in Delaware’s beach areas to reduce transmission of COVID-19, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced the following restrictions to be imposed starting on Friday, July 3 and lasting until further notice:

  • 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. When the 60% 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. These limits, which will be enforced at park entrances by DNREC Natural Resources Police, will not be managed based on a “one-in, one-out” policy that would encourage lines of waiting vehicles and people.
  • At Cape Henlopen, when the main gate is closed to additional vehicles based on parking lot capacity, 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 currently mandated by the Governor’s emergency order.
  • Masks or face coverings are required in bathhouse and concession areas of all three parks and strongly encouraged on the beach as well.
  • Campgrounds and cabin rentals will continue.

Delaware State Parks Covid-19 Preparations and Response

Delaware State Parks staff understand that our natural resources are a vital means for the public to exercise and a source for food; however, in order to keep our parks open for all members of the public to enjoy, we ask that our visitors be mindful of the length and frequency of their visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The safest way to enjoy Delaware State Parks is sparingly, as needed, and during off-peak times: before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. daily. Those aged 13 or older must bring face coverings with them to enter a park and wear them when they cannot maintain social distancing from other visitors, such as in bathhouses, park offices, concession buildings, boat docks, and on trails and paths where others are present. Rangers or park staff may require those who do not bring face masks to leave.

Home is the safest place to be! Whenever possible, Delaware residents should look for safe ways to get moving and have fun around their home and neighborhood. Our entire Delaware State Parks team wants you and your loved ones to remain as safe as possible now so you can enjoy our parks to their fullest once the threat of COVID-19 has passed.


Current Status

Visiting the Parks

    Social Distancing in State Parks

  • Those aged 13 or older must bring face coverings with them to enter a park and wear them when they cannot maintain social distancing from other visitors, such as in bathhouses, park offices, concession buildings, boat docks, and on trails and paths where others are present. Rangers or park staff may require those who do not bring face masks to leave.
  • State park offices are open. You must observe social distancing requirements and wear a face covering when entering a park office.
  • Beach-area bathrooms and bathhouses are open. Most bathrooms in other state parks around the state are also open, although some remain closed due to social distancing/cleaning considerations. Cleaning services have been increased to multiple times per day at all open bathrooms and bathhouses.
  • Daily entry fees or passes are required for entrance to Delaware State Parks.Visitors without a state park annual pass must pay the daily fee via automated credit card machines, at manned fee booths, or using self-registration fee envelopes, depending on the location. Visitors are encouraged to purchase an annual pass to avoid anticipated delays for daily entrance payments. See the Pass and Permit Sales section below for information about annual passes.

Beach Activities and Swimming

  • Beach Activities
    • Beginning Friday, July 3, the number of vehicles allowed in Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks is limited to approximately 60% of the parking capacity. When the 60% 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. These limits, which will be enforced at park entrances by DNREC Natural Resources Police, will not be managed based on a “one-in, one-out” policy that would encourage lines of waiting vehicles and people.
    • At Cape Henlopen, when the main gate is closed to additional vehicles based on parking lot capacity, 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, Natural Resources Police officers will monitor the numbers of vehicles on the beach and will close drive-on beach entrances when vehicles fail to maintain the 20-foot distance between vehicles currently mandated by the Governor’s emergency order.
    • Sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, surfing, kayaking, walk-on surf fishing and other activities have resumed. Masks or face coverings are required in bathhouse and concession areas and strongly encouraged on the beach as well.
    • At least 6-foot distance is required on beaches among those from different households, and groups of visitors from the same household may not exceed 10 persons.
    • A distance of 20 feet is required between surf-fishing vehicles.
    • Officers may close drive-on surf-fishing beaches to additional surf-fishing vehicles when the carrying capacity to implement social distancing is not possible.

    • Visit our COVID-19 Surf-Fishing FAQ page for answers to your questions about temporary surf-fishing restrictions currently in effect.

  • Killens Pond Water Park
    • The Killens Pond Water Park is currently closed.

Camping, Picnic and Pavilion Reservations

  • Campsites, cabins, cottages, and yurts are open. All cabins and cottages are sanitized by a professional cleaning service between rentals.
  • Picnic areas and pavilions are open and available for reservations. Groups may not exceed 250 people.
  • A liberal cancelation policy is in effect through June 15, allowing those with reservations to cancel and receive a full refund.
  • Refunds and reservation cancellations are processed by the Delaware State Parks reservation vendor. Additional questions can be handled at the call center at 877-98 PARKS (877-987-2757).

Pass and Permit Information

  • Annual park pass sales are currently available online and at most state park offices. Visit our Passes, Tags and Fees page for information about pass and permit sales.
  • The purchase of an annual pass, lifetime pass or surf fishing permit does not guarantee access to Delaware State Parks property, programs or functions when the number of visitors is restricted due to a high volume of visitors at peak times or other instances of restrictions, including, but not limited to, government restrictions, state of emergency, strike, flood, fire, or unforeseen catastrophe.
  • Purchases of passes or permits are non-refundable.

Education, Events, Programs, and Volunteering

  • Summer Camps
    • Delaware State Parks has been evaluating which of our parks are able to offer camps this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Unfortunately, based on evaluation of facilities, including bathrooms, available staff and camper interest, summer camps at the following locations have been canceled:
      • Brandywine Creek State Park
      • Cape Henlopen State Park
      • Killens Pond State Park
      • Trap Pond State Park
    • Selected camps at the following sites will run, but may have limited hours, registration and activities:
      • Alapocas Run State Park
      • Bellevue State Park
      • White Clay Creek State Park
      • Lums Pond State Park
    • Registered participants will be contacted and informed of changes. Full refunds will be offered upon request.
  • Summer Concerts
    • 2020 summer concerts at Bellevue State Park and White Clay Creek State Park are cancelled until August 1 due to high average attendance at those sites. Concerts at sites with lower average attendance are still being evaluated.
    • Visit our Summer Concerts page for the most up-to-date concert schedule.
  • Nature Centers and Programs
    • Most nature centers and interpretive centers are now open, but with limited hours and programs.
    • For the safety of our visitors and staff, program attendees ages 13 and older will be required to have face coverings and use them indoors and when maintaining social distancing is not possible.
    • Youth participants 12 years and younger are to follow the Division of Public Health recommendations for face coverings on children.
    • Rangers or park staff may require those who do not bring face masks to leave. Visit destateparks.com/programs for the most up-to-date program schedule.
    • Those who are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should remain home.
    • Specific information about the status of any Delaware State Parks event is available on our program calendar pageand the social media pages below.
    • Videos and interactive blog posts are shared with the public every day on Delaware State Parks’ Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts, and the Delaware State Parks Adventure Blog. Visit our #DailyParks page for links, videos and downloadable coloring book pages.
  • Volunteering

    The Division will limit the number of participants and types of volunteer activities to promote social distancing while volunteering.

    Volunteers self-assess and verify their wellness to participate.

    If you have fever, shortness of breath, cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and/or diarrhea or if you have been in contact with anyone who has these symptoms – STAY HOME and DO NOT VOLUNTEER

    • Volunteers must adhere to COVID-19 Safety Measures in Delaware State Parks.
    • Volunteer must bring and wear their own work gloves.
    • Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own non-power hand tools as appropriate for the volunteer activity.
    • Volunteers are specifically encouraged to read the Volunteer Code regarding participation prior to volunteering.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/.

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