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The uncertainty, closures, and travel restrictions surrounding the coronavirus outbreak continue to evolve day to day and hour by hour.
Today, the White House announced that the Canada/U.S. border has closed to non-essential travel. Drastic ‘Shelter in Place’ restrictions are in place for over 7 million people in Northern California, and New York City may be next, and possibly more and more communities as the U.S. prepares for this crisis to last many months.
Federal, state, and local governments are strongly asking people not to travel unnecessarily, or in some cases making it illegal to do so. Now is clearly not the time to travel in an RV.
That doesn’t mean activities like camping in your local community are discouraged. In fact, experts want people to get outdoors as long as they maintain social distancing from non-family members. But closures at state and local parks have made that less and less possible.
To date, nine states have closed state parks, along with many city and local campgrounds. As of yesterday, the National Park Service has begun to close some campgrounds. Many Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds are closing or delaying opening.
But now, closures are beginning to roll out at private campgrounds. A few dozen closures have been announced across the country. Mostly, we’re seeing campgrounds announcing that they will delay opening for the season. In addition, shelter-in-place communities are not permitting new arrivals at campgrounds, and the popular national park gateway community of Moab, Utah and surrounding counties are requiring private hotels and campgrounds to only book local residents. Gunnison County, Colorado, is under a travel restriction and is urging all non-residents to leave. All camping areas are closed.
We will see more and more of these restrictions taking place over the next days and weeks, making this a difficult, and perhaps irresponsible, time to travel. Rootless Living and Campendium are doing a great job of keeping up-to-date on park closure notices.