ANNAPOLIS, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - As Maryland remains under a statewide stay-at-home order, aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, some restrictions are beginning to ease, with many recreational activities resuming today.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, recreational outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, golf, camping and exercising at Maryland state beaches were allowed to start back up.
In Bowie, Oak Creek Golf Club was among the many golf courses scrambling to reopen their doors, following Wednesday’s announcement by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
Staff at the golf club is limiting the number of people allowed inside their pro shop and riding on golf carts to one person at a time.
They’re also stepping up their cleaning regimen and wearing personal protective equipment.
General Manager Jeff Rice tells FOX 5 that the response was overwhelming.
“As soon as Governor Hogan announced it, the phone started ringing off the hook. He just announced it at 3 p.m. yesterday and we have 180 golfers scheduled to be here today," said Rice.
The move marks the first easing of Hogan’s statewide restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.
During his press conference, the governor said his advisory team deemed the recreational outdoor activities to be lower risk for residents.
In Annapolis, people jumped at the opportunity.
As with golf courses, those visiting marinas must also take precautions, wearing masks and not gathering in large groups on docks.
While it’s been tough for many to give up their favorite pasttimes, some fisherman said there is a plus side for the environment.
“It’s definitely good for the river because all the fish were able to spawn, there wasn’t people out there churning up mud and dirt, kind of affecting how they spawn usually, so I think it was good.”
In addition to reopening beaches and golf courses, Hogan also announced Wednesday that non-emergency medical procedures can resume.
However, the stay-at-home order continues, students are still out of school, and non-essential businesses remain closed.