Vehicle access to all 280 state parks was prohibited by California State Parks (CSP) Sunday, March 29, after visitors once again arrived in numbers that made maintaining appropriate social distancing difficult.

“On Saturday, many state parks once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/physical distancing practices,” read a press release issued by CSP today. “During this pandemic disease, every person has a role to play in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Protecting individuals, families and communities comes down to common sense.”

CSP policies have been evolving to contend with a sharp increase in visitors since Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 19 intended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world. In response, CSP closed campgrounds on March 17 and on March 26 restricted vehicle traffic in 98 parks before taking the step Sunday of shutting off vehicle access across the entire system. Trails remain open for the time being.

“State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and physical distancing at all state park units, and if the safety measures implemented thus far are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities,” read CSP’s statement.

CSP reminds the public to adhere to the following guidelines:

● Stay home if you are sick.

● Stay close to home when you get outdoors. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

● Venture out only with people in your immediate household.

● Walk around the neighborhood and enjoy neighborhood parks.

● Always maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors. If you cannot maintain physical distancing, leave the park.

● Do not congregate in parks.

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