BOSTON- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued new guidelines for outdoor parks this week in anticipation of Phase II of the Commonwealth’s re-opening plan.
Phase II begins on June 8.
All visitors to parks and open spaces, as well as those participating
in outdoor education programs should comply with COVID-19 Order 31: Order Requiring Face Coverings in Public Places
Where Social Distancing is Not Possible. The order requires any person over the age of 2, whether indoors or outdoors, to wear a face covering or mask when they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others, unless they have a medical condition preventing them from doing so.
Group Size: No groups larger than 10 are allowed to gather: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march31-2020-assemblage-guidance/download
Walking, hiking, biking, running, land stewardship events (clean-up events, community service projects, volunteer programming), and other activities (yoga, tai chi, etc.,) are allowable activities during Phase II in parks and other designated areas such as rail trails, multi-use paths, and bike paths.
Parks and Open Space Guidelines:
- Visitors must practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from others and adhering to all site-specific rules, regulations, and posted signage regarding permitted uses.
- On trails, walker and hikers should move aside and leave room for others to pass, and cyclists and runners should alert other users when approaching and wait for others to step aside before passing.
- After visiting public spaces, users should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Managing entities may offer or allow third parties to coordinate group hikes, nature walks, and land stewardship activities, such as clean-up events and community service projects, at their discretion but such activities shall be consistent with social distancing and group size guidelines. There may be more than one group of 10 at one time, provided that adequate social distance and group separation can be maintained.
- Organized group hikes, nature walk programs, and land stewardship activities should be planned in advance with proper registration of participants in order to manage capacity.
- Onsite registration should be not offered.
- Participants of group hikes, nature walks, and land stewardship activities should not share equipment.
- No permits should be issued for group gatherings.
Portion of this report are a press release from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts