A portion of the Gulf Islands National Seashore campsite will open to the public Aug. 10 for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The park will begin accepting reservations Monday on recreation.gov for spots on the Loop A campsite. Brent Everitt, spokesperson for Gulf Islands, said it will operate at 50% capacity or 21 sites.
“We wanted to do it in a structured or staggered way that provided the best ability for us to restart,” Everitt said.
Campsites on Loops B through E remain closed. Loop A was chosen to reopen because it is physically separated from the other four.
“Just like we’ve done basically since March, we’re going to reevaluate every week, and as we have capacity to do so operationally and as conditions warrant, we will definitely consider providing additional capacity, whether it’s in Loop A or it’s one of the other loops,” Everitt said.
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Other park closures include the Fort Pickens Discovery Center, the Fort Barrancas Area and group campsites at the Fort Pickens and Naval Live Oaks areas.
The open areas of the park include Fort Pickens, Santa Rosa, Naval Live Oaks, Okaloosa and Perdido Key.
In addition to remaining at 50% capacity, staff is limiting only one individual inside the campground registration office at a time. Everitt also recommended that campers review CDC guidelines for visiting parks, wear a mask, wash their hands and practice social distance.
“Those are things that you can do to help. Nothing’s mandatory or required, but they certainly do help and we encourage those things,” Everitt said.
Madison Arnold can be reached at [email protected] and 850-435-8522.