HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - There are new regulations at Virginia State Parks as the state continues to slowly open back up due to COVID-19.
8-year-old Grant Prom and his 5-year-old sister Gabriella said they are excited to be at First Landing State Park.
They are one of the first families to be allowed to stay in cabins and lodges again.
State officials announced that cabins and lodges will open back up again with new regulations starting this week.
“Today we're going to the beach,” said Grant. “I feel like we will have a great time there.”
Virginia state parks have been open, but overnight facilities including their lodging and cabins have been closed - until now.
Camping has been allowed since May 22.
“We are opening for the first time in about well over two months, so we’re very excited about that,” said Dave Neudueck, the Virginia State Parks Communications and Marketing Director. “But we are now no longer offering linen service in our cabins and lodges, so guests will need to bring their own.”
The Walter family was visiting the park from Texas.
They said the rules are stricter in Virginia compared to Texas, but they don’t mind at all.
“It has been a little bit of an adjustment since we are wearing face masks,” said Joshua Walter. “Folks are ready to get out into nature, and you can do it safely out here. I think it’s a good thing to open it up.”
“I think it’s needed. People need to get out and have a normal life again and just enjoy what’s there to offer everybody,” said Norma Ward from New Jersey.
Below is information from the Virginia State Parks:
The reopening comes with two notable changes in operations to ensure visitor safety related to the preventable spread of COVID-19: the discontinuation of linen services and the addition of a 24-hour rest period between bookings. Linens will no longer be provided. Overnight guests in cabins and lodges will need to bring their own linens including sheets, pillowcases, blankets, towels, washcloths, shower mats, kitchen towels and dishcloths. Virginia State Parks arrived at the decision to cease linen services to eliminate the possible exposure of COVID-19 to guests, staff and third-party laundry facility personnel from soiled linens. As an additional precaution, all mattresses and pillows have been fitted with special coverings that will be sanitized as part of enhanced cleaning protocols between guest stays. Further, reservations are being scheduled with one vacant day between check-outs and check-ins to reduce the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19. A 24-hour rest period between check-outs and check-ins allows airborne particles time to settle onto stabilizable surfaces to be sanitized and provides additional protection to housekeepers. These changes have no effect on camping cabins or yurts. For additional information on cabin operations, visit VirginiaStateParks.gov/covid-19-update-cabins.
Reservations may be made by calling 800-933-PARK (7275). Staff is working at capacity, and wait times will be longer than usual. Reservations can be made faster through ReserveAmerica.com
Before their visit, all Virginia State Park guests are encouraged to review the latest information on available recreational opportunities and park closures at VirginiaStateParks.gov/covid-19-update.