CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is slowly starting to regain a sense of normalcy as the state of Virginia moves into phase 2 of reopening.

When COVID-19 came to Hampton Roads, the department did not close the parks, however, playgrounds, basketball courts, and other popular amenities were shut down. Now, visitors are one step closer to having complete access.

Certain spaces, including shelters and athletics fields can only allow groups of 50 or fewer participants. Those looking to rental a kayak, canoe, paddleboat, and bike can now do so starting Friday, June 12th.

There’s also a Classes, Programs and Camps page available on the website. These in-person classes that just opened up for registration, beginning as early as Monday, June 15. 

Unfortunately, all the community-wide events such as this weekend’s KayaXpediton and Celebrate Freedom during the 4th of July weekend have been canceled since they don’t fall under the phase 2 guidelines.

“Typically, are major summer events can draw hundreds to thousands of guests. At this time, it’s just not safe to host an event of that magnitude,” said Thurman Diamond, recreation superintendent.

For the last three months, the department has posted dozens of virtual classes. From children’s videos on crafts, to educational workshops covering science and the environment. Other topics include mindfulness and yoga, environmental, fitness and sports, and classes geared to the 55 and better community. 

“Yes, since March 20 we’ve made 80 videos. Now that we’re in phase 2, we don’t post videos all week long, just Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday,” said Lynn Jordan, public information coordinator.

To keep track of all the updates with Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, check out their Facebook Page ChesapeakePRT.

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