In the pursuit of the physical and mental well-being of Pennsylvania residents, Governor Wolf has announced he will be relaxing the restrictions for outdoor recreational activities beginning May 1, 2020. With that modified order, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds are permitted to reopen statewide and are required to follow the updated life-sustaining business guidance and FAQ issued by the Wolf Administration on April 27, 2020. (Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through Thursday, May 14.) The purpose of this lift in restrictions is to allow Pennsylvania residents the opportunity to safely enjoy outdoor recreation yet continue to adhere to the state-wide stay-at-home orders in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while promoting physical health and mental well-being.
In lifting the restrictions for outdoor recreation, Wolf urges Pennsylvania residents to still comply with the mandates as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on visiting parks and recreational facilities. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, these guidelines must be followed statewide by businesses and when engaging in outdoor activity while the state disaster declaration remains in effect :
- Stay close to home: Pennsylvanians are encouraged to enjoy permitted outdoor recreational activities within their communities and avoid crowding popular destinations.
- Practice social distancing: Maintain the recommended minimum 6 feet apart. Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to wear a mask or protective garment that covers the nose and mouth any time they go outside. If a parking lot at a park is full or there are too many people on the same trail, find an alternate place to recreate. Cross the street to avoid running directly past another runner or wait longer at a golf hole for a fellow golfer to move forward.
- Minimize risk to others: Individuals should only go out if they feel healthy and have not been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Practice good hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs and handrails.
- Have a plan: Create a safety plan before heading outdoors. Explain to children the need to keep their distance from others, even if they happen to see a friend while outside. Discuss social distancing while on the golf course with fellow players. Think through how to avoid other runners when waiting to safely cross a street at the same time.
While the Governor’s announcement is aimed mostly at improving physical health and the mental well-being of Pennsylvania residents, the updated life-sustaining business guidance is beginning to relax restrictions and is more inclusive than previous directives.
Gawthrop Greenwood and its team of lawyers will continue to review legislation and governmental decisions as they unfold, as we are committed to providing guidance to our clients. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 610-696-8225.