JB Pritzker

All State Parks to Reopen, Restrictions on Boating, Golf to Ease in Phase Three of ‘Restore Illinois' Plan

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, people take advantage of one of the warmest days so far this Spring

With the state on pace to move forward into Phase Three of the “Restore Illinois” plan, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an easing of restrictions on many outdoor recreational activities, including the opening of all state parks.

According to the governor, all state parks that haven’t already reopened will be allowed to do so on May 29, and all concession stands at those parks will be permitted to reopen, with social distancing guidelines in place.

“I know how important our state parks are to communities across our state, and the staff and leadership of our Department of Natural Resources are looking forward to welcoming you back,” Pritzker said.

Under Phase Three of the plan, gatherings of 10 or fewer people will be allowed, with masks still required in situations where social distancing is not possible.

Boating restrictions will also begin to ease, as groups of 10 or fewer people will be allowed to share boats. Previously only two individuals were allowed to be on the same boat.

Campgrounds will also be permitted to reopen, with similar restrictions on group size and social distancing in place.

The governor also announced that many other changes will be coming to outdoor activities, including the reopening of driving ranges, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities and outdoor shooting ranges. All of those facilities will be allowed to reopen with proper social distancing and cleaning protocols in place, according to Pritzker.

For golfers, Phase Three will also usher in the return of foursomes on golf courses, as up to four golfers will be allowed to play in the same group. Previously only two golfers had been allowed to play.

Golf carts can also be used by one person only, according to the new rules.

With so many outdoor activities returning in modified form, Pritzker cautioned that the state has made significant progress in fighting coronavirus, but there still remains plenty of work to do, and residents can’t afford to let their guard down.

“Here in Illinois, we have followed the science and we are succeeding, but we can’t let up now,” he said.  “We’ve come too far and made too much progress because we’ve kept social distancing, worn face coverings in public, washed our hands frequently and taken care of our most vulnerable to the best of our ability. We must persevere.”

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