Counties restrict access to state parks, recreation as part of stay-at-home order

East Bay Regional Parks

Bay Area counties that implemented a new regional stay-at-home order in recent days have also moved to restrict access to outdoor recreation, closing campgrounds and playgrounds and some restricting access to parks and other outdoor recreational facilities. The stay-at-home order took effect in the city of Berkeley and the counties of Contra Costa, San Francisco and Santa Clara on Sunday. The order took effect in Alameda County on Monday and in Marin County on Tuesday.

Changes to park and recreation restrictions by county include:

  • Alameda County: All campgrounds, outdoor museums, visitor centers and children’s playgrounds at East Bay Regional Park District locations are closed until further notice. The Park District encourages those visiting regional parks and trails to wear masks when within 6 feet of others and recreate responsibly.
  • Contra Costa County: County-maintained parks and recreational facilities, including playgrounds and playground amenities such as restrooms and recreational centers, will be closed until Jan. 4. The closures in the Alameda portions of the East Bay Regional Park District also apply to Contra Costa County. Shuttle service and home tours at Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site are closed to the public, but the site remains accessible through the Las Trampas Wilderness. John Muir National Historic Site, excluding Mount Wanda, and the Port Chicago Naval Magazine are also closed.
  • Marin County: Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, amusement parks and live audience sports closed Tuesday. Overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted, and outdoor recreational facilities will be allowed outdoor operation only, without food, drink or alcohol sales. At Point Reyes National Seashore, the lighthouse and visitor centers are closed. Some park roads, parking areas and trailheads are also closed to motorized access.
  • Santa Clara County: All campgrounds, indoor and outdoor museums and playgrounds are closed. Parks and trails owned and operated by Santa Clara County remain open as do their restrooms. Signage has been posted in prominent areas of parks and trails to encourage mask-wearing and social distancing.
  • San Francisco: All city playgrounds, skate parks and the San Francisco Zoo are closed. Parks, trails and open spaces remain open, although there are limits on adult recreation, youth sports, outdoor gym and fitness activities and group outdoor volunteer activities. Some areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including Alcatraz Island and Fort Point National Historic Site, and San Francisco Maritime Museum, visitor center and research center have closed.

California State Parks will temporarily close campgrounds and keep day-use areas such as parks open in regions impacted by the statewide stay-at-home order that is being triggered by intensive care unit capacity. The department will continue working closely with local county and public health officials to assess park operations on a daily basis, according to a statement from State Parks.

State Parks encourages those recreating in the outdoors to stay local, maintain social distance, wear face coverings when within 6 feet of others to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. “We have reached a point where COVID-19 is so widespread in California that just leaving the house is a risky behavior, which is why we adopted the Regional Stay at Home Order,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

“This is not about which sector is riskier than another sector, it’s about the fact that any mixing among households presents a risk of disease transmission.”


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