Colorado is easing some restrictions on the movement of people starting this week as the country enters a new phase of its battle against the new corona virus, but a trip for outdoor recreation is one area that is not relaxed.
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In fact, there may be stricter limits for people seeking fresh air.
The executive order of the governor “Jared Polis” which is safer at home “issued Sunday night includes a provision that instructs Coloradans not to travel more than 10 miles from their home to remake. That means activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, and rafting.
“Travel for recreational purposes must be limited to your own community, such as your area of residence,” the Colorado Health Department’s public health and environment order, which took effect on Monday morning, said.
New, safer orders at home take effect at least May 27, which means that Colorado residents are expected to stay close to home past Memorial Day, an unofficial summer start and a popular weekend for camping and hiking. The concern is that visitors will be infected or spread the virus in areas of the state that are not well equipped to deal with mass infections.
“You sacrifice to stay home for 32 days,” Polis said at a press conference on Monday. “I think you can sacrifice to go to the second or third favorite park for another month.”
Governor Jared Polis before speaking with reporters at the governor’s house in downtown Denver on Monday, April 20, 2020. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
Colorado Sun asked the Police how the state would enforce a 10-mile order, but he had no answer. Some mountain communities already have their own visit restrictions and have openly asked non-residents to stay away.
Public health orders from CDPHE are unclear. The agency did not answer the question about what specific penalties people could face for violating directives.
MORE: The governor said if Coloradans did not take the safety period at home seriously, bookings to stay at home could return
The order said: “This order will be enforced by all appropriate legal means. Local authorities are encouraged to determine the best course of action to encourage maximum compliance. Failure to comply with this order can result in penalties, including jail time and fines. ”
Home stay orders that expire on Sunday allow for outdoor recreation and it really seems OK to travel long distances to do so, even though officials encourage people to stay closer at home.
“It’s important to understand that we really need everyone to do the right thing,” Mike Willis, director of the Colorado Emergency Management Office, said by telephone with reporters Tuesday afternoon.
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The police said Coloradans only needed to be patient.
“Many of our communities that depend on tourism have high viral loads because of that tourism and only need more time where they need to get up,” he said. “We don’t want you to go to areas where you might get a virus because other people are gathered there from all other states and states. And we also don’t want people who unwittingly bring the virus back to the community that has made great progress at cost big. ”
He added: “It is very important for us to respect the wishes of these people.”
Many mountain communities, including the Gunnison and Clear Creek districts, have adopted policies to prevent visitors from leaving. In Gunnison County, violators can face a $ 5,000 fine.
MORE: The Colorado District tries various ways to tell visitors the same thing: please stay away
“Traveling outside your community, potentially spreading this to other communities is a very counterproductive thing to do,” Willis said. “This is not the time to take your family and run to the mountains and potentially spread them to other communities.”
Police said Coloradans must use the outdoor recreation area closest to them.
“Most Coloradans – I dare say every Coloradan – has many city parks or district open spaces within 10 miles of their homes,” Polis said.
But on the same day on Monday, Police celebrated the fact that parks in Colorado had been able to remain open and said officials were working to allow camping back.
Safer orders at home include clauses that can be changed or extended at any time.
The outdoor recreation industry in high countries has delayed its spring and summer offers.
One big question that soars is whether skiing can continue for several more weeks. The Arapahoe Basin, which has one of the longest seasons in North America, has given hope that it might be able to open its slopes.
A trip limit of 10 miles, however, would seem difficult.
“We don’t need to try to open tomorrow,” said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin chief operating officer. “All types of reopening will be a collaborative process” with the state and Summit County.
Skier Nathan Hahn made a sinking path in the Arapahoe Basin on February 9, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
Henceroth said the ski area was preparing to reopen when the time was right, and was thinking about options to keep people safe. That includes only having elevators and open lanes and keeping facilities closed.
And Henceroth said there was no need to rush because this year’s heavy snowfall would likely allow skiing at least the end of June.
“We still have plenty of time,” he said.
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