Gov. Jay Insee announced today that outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, golfing and hiking on public lands can resume on May 5.
Fishing and outdoor activities were closed last month in conjunction with the statewide “stay home stay healthy” order.
Inslee said restarting construction, which he announced could resume last week, and reopening outdoor activities is the first step of many to “reopen” Washington State.
The “stay home, stay healthy” order is set to expire on May 4, but Inslee gave no indication of whether it would be extended instead saying that some restrictions will have to stay in place past May 4.
Public gatherings and team sports will remain prohibited. People are also only allowed to golf in pairs unless a group of four golfers live together.
Social distancing will need to be maintained while hiking, hunting and fishing. Many protesters over the weekend flooded Lake Washington with signs saying “Let us fish.” They argue that by virtue of the nature of fishing it was always a socially distant passtime and should not have been closed down. But photos shared in March when the ban first went into effect showed scores of people at lakes and fishing holes across Washington standing shoulder to shoulder with a pole in hand.
“If we see a sharp uptake in the number of people who are getting sick or are not following appropriate steps, then we won’t hesitate to scale this back again,” Inslee said. “This is not a return to normal. This is only a beginning phase of relaxing outdoor recreation restrictions.”