Post navigation

Prev: (04/27/20) | Next: (04/28/20)

Washington eases restrictions on some outdoor activities but you’ll still need to give six feet on the trail

Lake Union (Image: King County)

It is progress far from the streets of Capitol Hill but Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday another set of loosened restrictions as he slowly moves forward on easing the statewide COVID-19 lockdown.

Starting May 5th, state parks, day use of state lands, and day use of fish and wildlife areas will be reopened as will golf courses across the state — with restrictions. You can tee off with up to four people — but only one of them can be from outside your household.

“This is not a return to normal today,” Inslee said . “The virus is too rampant to allow that.”

The modest slate of reopenings come as Inslee’s last set of restrictions is slated to end in May. With the COVID-19 infection rate dropping in Washington but far from safe levels, many of those will need to remain in place.

Inslee said lifting restrictions will be “more like the turning of a dial than a flip of the switch” as he eased the first set of restrictions last week around the reopening of non-essential construction.


$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Washington’s current restrictions have been ordered though May 4th. The legally enforceable order restricts activities to only essential needs including visiting health facilities, grocery shopping, and working in “essential businesses” and industries. Restaurants and bars have also been able to continue offering to go and delivery orders. Larger impacts include a halt to most commercial construction that does not involve safety or critical repairs.

Inslee has said he would take a “scientific approach” to reopening Washington and its economy in a recovery that will be “more like the turning of a dial than a flip of the switch.”

The May 5th relaxation of outdoor activity restrictions opens the way for the return of fishing for hunting but also the day use of state lands for visits and hiking. Inslee advised hikers to step off the trail if necessary to make sure safe distancing is maintained.

The announcement also encourage residents to “recreate locally.”

“Do not travel farther than necessary and do not stay overnight to recreate,” the governor’s statement said.

Parking at state, county, and federal trailheads has been restricted along with the closures. It wasn’t immediately clear how those kinds of closures would be managed with the easing of state restrictions. National Forest and National Park access in the state currently remains closed.

Public gatherings, events, pro and recreational sports, and camping, meanwhile, remain banned.

 

The 13th hole at Broadmoor (Image: Broadmoor Golf Club)

Seattle area golf course have been closed during the restrictions including the private fairways of the Broadmoor Golf Club and the city’s public courses. Other cities have opened some of their courses as public parks during the COVID-19 restrictions. The City of Seattle has not yet responded to the governor’s announcement.

Through Sunday, 416 have died in King County related to COVID-19 with 749 deaths reported statewide.

Mayor Jenny Durkan last week called for a major increase in testing resources in order to safely lift restrictions.

Inslee will need to issue an update for his “stay home” order to extend restrictions beyond May 4th.

CHS COVID-19

More coverage…


$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
6 months ago

I have generally been in agreement with Governor Inslee’s decisions, with the exception of the golf course closures and the construction ban, neither of which seemed rational. I think it would have been quite easy to maintain social distancing for both of these activities, so I’m glad he has decided to open them up again.

Citizen
Citizen
6 months ago

Inslee advised hikers to step off the trail if necessary to make sure safe distancing is maintained. I advise to not use a trail, open your mind. You are not ewe.

bobtr
bobtr
6 months ago
Reply to  Citizen

Trails limit erosion and protect vegetation from being trampled (or, if you prefer, they protect our property from being degraded). Maybe you could open your mind to accommodate the general interest. We already have an influx of new hikers who seem to be lacking any notion of wilderness ethics. Encouraging them to go off trail is poor advice.