Venturing out for Memorial Day weekend? Keep these safety tips in mind

Coronavirus-minded guidelines in place at many popular destinations
Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park

Due to the coronavirus, many places people typically visit over Memorial Day weekend have altered operations and guidelines. We’ve listed some of those changes below.

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is still urging Atlanta residents to stay home except for essential trips and to wash hands frequently, practice social distancing and wear face masks in public.

The CDC recommends "wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission," adding it's "critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus."

Piedmont Park 

The park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., although the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation is asking people to practice social distancing (staying six feet away from others) while in all city parks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bathrooms are open from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. No group gatherings or team sports are allowed, and if you're exhibiting any symptoms, you're asked not to use parks or trails. Visitors are asked to keep their hands clean and sanitized and to follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene. City of Atlanta playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts and pools are closed.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy recommends bringing a mask with you to wear when needed, asks visitors not to gather with people outside of their household and to be prepared to take trash back home with them to reduce the impact of waste.

Tybee Island/Savannah 

Beaches are open to the public, and lifeguards will start back full-time for Memorial Day weekend, according to Visit Tybee. Public restrooms are open. The Tybee Island Pier is open, except for the picnic tables, and Fisherman's Walk Pier (Back River Pier) is open as well.

For Savannah, public spaces such as parks and squares are open, but the city "urges everyone to obey social distancing of 6 feet or more," according to Visit Savannah.

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain attractions remain closed, but the natural areas of the park are open, including Grist Mill, Covered Bridge, Quarry Exhibit and hiking and nature trails. The Stone Mountain Golf Club is open, in addition to the park campground and on-site hotels.

The Memorial Day Weekend Lasershow and fireworks have been canceled.

Lake Lanier 

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page, beginning Saturday, all Corps of Engineers operated day use parks, with the exception of Buford Dam Park, will be open for public access. Restrooms at currently accessible areas will be open, but beaches, shelters, playgrounds and campgrounds will remain closed.

In the same post, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds visitors to “practice social distancing and to avoid crowded parks and facilities.”

Lake Allatoona 

At Lake Allatoona, beaches, restrooms, shelters and campgrounds are closed, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Mobile District) Facebook page. Most other areas are open, including most ramps, the Riverside Day Use area, the Victoria Day Use area and the Old Hwy #1 Day Use area.
All Corps-operated trails are open.

The Corps lists guidelines of staying six feet apart, staying away if you’re sick or have symptoms, being prepared to take trash home with you and wearing a life jacket when needed. Also, the Corps lists guidelines on how to social distance while boating: stay close to home, plan ahead (pack food and water), boat only with those from your household and avoid rafting or tying boats together.

St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Brunswick

Beaches are open, but the Department of Natural Resources is asking that everyone social distance and stay six feet apart and not to gather in groups of more than 10 people. The DNR is "continuing to ramp up game warden patrols to comprehensively monitor (their) beaches for compliance." Welcome centers are closed. There are no restrictions on chairs, umbrellas or coolers.

The Piers are open to the public, though visitors should follow social distancing guidelines, and most parks, walking trails, dog parks, marinas and campgrounds are open. Playgrounds and picnic areas are still closed.

Also, the popular King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons has reopened, with added safety/cleaning procedures such as "physical-distancing procedures in all communal spaces," "housekeeping in between guest stays," not during, "restriction of gatherings to 10 people or less," "restricted seating in pool areas and at the on-property restaurant" and "touchless entry to hotel and hotel facilities, when possible," according to the hotel.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park has reopened park trails, as well as the overflow parking lot, visitor center parking lot, Burnt Hickory road parking lot, Gilbert road parking area, Cheatham Hill drive and Cheatham Hill road parking (some parking areas, including the mountain top parking lot and horse trailer parking lot, are still closed). Entry fees are waived.

Restroom facilities and the visitor center remain closed.

Guidelines include: follow local area health orders, practice the "leave no trace" principle, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

<p>Kennesaw Mountain State Park</p>

icon to expand image

About the Author