Georgia is ramping up enforcement of social distancing in parks and on lakes across the state because of reports of large crowds congregating in recreation areas.
The announcement was made Sunday by Gov. Brian Kemp and state Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams.
“Across Georgia, there is a mandatory shelter in place order for medically fragile individuals, and gatherings of more than ten people are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person at all times," the pair said in a joint statement. "Fortunately, many Georgians are heeding these directives and following the advice of public health officials to stay safe and healthy. However, as we deal with the effects of coronavirus with school and business closures, people are eager for a change in scenery after days at home. They are traveling to nearby counties, heading outdoors for fresh air, and maximizing family time. Some are going to vacation homes, and others are hitting the lake, hiking trails, or campgrounds. We, too, enjoy exploring Georgia, but we urge people to stay mindful of social distancing, follow best practices, and avoid large crowds."
The Department of Natural Resources will enforce Gov. Kemp's executive order limiting large gatherings with officials patrolling bodies of water and campgrounds. "They are monitoring coves where people tend to congregate and, if necessary, using bullhorns to tell people to comply with the order," according to the statement. "Officials will approach people in violation of the order and demand compliance for the well-being of our citizens and state. Local officials are also working hard to ensure compliance with local directives, which vary by city and county across our state."