MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) - State environmental officials said they were forced to close one state park for the duration of the coronavirus public health emergency.
Kent Falls State Park in Kent is closed "due to challenges in maintaining appropriate social distancing," the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said on Monday.
Kent Falls State Park, Kent,CT is closed due to Due to challenges in maintaining appropriate social distancing, will be closed for the duration of the public health emergency— CT State Parks (@CTStateParks) April 6, 2020
DEEP said the rest of the state parks are still open, but there are new rules in place.
It has been trying to get ahead of the crowds with its latest restrictions.
One new rule involves closing a park to new visitors for the rest of the day once it reaches capacity.
"We cannot allow people to park on the streets anymore," said Col. Chris Lewis. "Traditionally, people parked on the town roads and walked in. Right now that is forbidden. That is illegal."
Environmental officers also have the power to either ticket or arrest people for walking into a closed park.
If visitors parked in a "no parking" area, they should expect a ticket, DEEP said.
Picnics are no longer allowed during the coronavirus pandemic.
DEEP has said it is prepared to restrict access to state parks if people don't listen and practice social distancing.
"If people can’t follow it though at a certain point maybe they have to shut down the parks and everybody is just going to have to stay home for a bit," said Alex Mendez of Wallingford.
To keep an on whether or not state parks have reached capacity, head to DEEP's website here.