Connecticut State Parks

State Parks to Reduce Visitor Capacity; Fines Possible for Violating Social Distancing

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The Connecticut state parks are reducing the amount of people who can visit during the coronavirus outbreak and there are now fines and charges possible for people who violate social distancing guidelines.

Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order on Tuesday that authorizes the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to prohibit walk-in visitors at state parks. DEEP also plans to limit parking capacity at some parks to help manage the number of visitors.

State parks remain open, but officials said DEEP is closely monitoring how many people are visiting the parks and when lots become full, parking thresholds may be lowered when necessary.

In some locations, DEEP said they have seen additional visitors parking outside of the park entrances to parks that are already closed for capacity and walking in.

Lamont's executive oder allows DEEP to impose penalties on people who enter parks after they have reached capacity, according to DEEP officials. The penalties can include fines or arrest.

Anyone who violates the ban will be subject to a 30-day eviction from all state parks and any other land that is under DEEP's oversight, DEEP added.

Residents are reminded that Gov. Lamont issued a previous executive order last week that prohibits social and recreational gatherings of more than five people. DEEP staff including ENCON Police and park staff are actively monitoring for compliance, DEEP said.

DEEP is also beginning to prohibit picnicking at state park locations.

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