For the first time in more than a year, Scot Sauer propped open the door to his laundromat Friday and didn’t immediately reach for a mask to pin behind his ears.

He greeted a customer with a smile on his face, telling the man he didn’t need his surgical mask but could wear it if he wanted to. The man shrugged and deposited his clothes into a machine at the back of the business.

“I’m super glad it’s finally ending,” Sauer, the owner of Surf N Suds laundromat in Newark, said Friday, after recalling the early days of the pandemic he spent shining an ultraviolet light on every corner of his store.

Scot Sauer, owner of Surf N Suds laundromat in Newark's Park N Shop shopping center on South Main Street, will not require masks in his business. "I'm super glad it's finally ending," Sauer said.

With coronavirus infections down and new data confirming the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, Delawareans are no longer required to wear a face mask in many public settings, and Delaware businesses no longer face capacity or distancing restrictions. 

The state says unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks and social distance, but the state will not be enforcing that policy.

THE NEW RULES:What you need to know

For some, ditching their masks when the new rules went into effect Friday signified the beginning of the end of the pandemic and brought a feeling of normalcy that alluded them for months. For others, who plan to continue wearing masks, Friday was not a milestone but another day.