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DCNR requires out-of-state visitors to have negative COVID-19 test or quarantine before visiting state parks

Ricketts Glen State park. SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

HARRISBURG- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced Friday changes to operating procedures for state park and forest facilities that will require out-of-state visitors to comply with orders intended to prevent the spread and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

“Since the beginning of efforts to address the pandemic we have kept our state park and forest lands open to all so that people can safely enjoy outdoor recreation as a way to maintain positive physical and mental health, and that will continue to be the case,” Dunn said. “We are making some changes to our overnight stays for out-of-state-visitors and our programming to help decrease the spread of COVID-19.”

For the safety of visitors and staff, DCNR will be requiring guests to cancel and refunds will be issued if they are unable to honor mitigation efforts:

Anyone who visits from another state must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 prior to entering the commonwealth;

If someone cannot get a test or chooses not to, they must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania before visiting a state park or forest; and

Pennsylvanians visiting other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to the commonwealth or to quarantine for 14 days upon return.

Out-of-state visitors cannot use state park overnight facilities to meet the 14-day quarantine requirement. Out-of-state residents visiting for the day also must comply with the mitigation efforts.

Visitors who don’t comply may be fined between $25 and $300.

Visitor center exhibit halls and interpretive areas will be closed, and all indoor programs will be canceled. Restrooms will continue to be available.

Masks are required to be worn:

In park and forest offices;

In any other indoor public space including restrooms;

During both indoor and outdoor special events and gatherings; and

Outdoors when visitors are unable to adequately social distance.

All outdoor environmental education and recreation programs will be limited to 20 people, to include staff and volunteer leaders. Masks must be work by all participants, and services will be denied if visitors cannot comply.

These changes are effective Nov.20, and will remain in effect until at least January 15, 2021.

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