MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that fees are now waived at all of the state’s parks, forests and trails, which all remain open amid the shelter-in-place order.

In a statement, officials explained that outdoor activity is considered essential under Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide restrictions. Still, they cautioned that the most effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is to stay home as much as possible.

When venturing outside for fresh air or exercise, people are advised to visit parks close to them, and to give plenty of space to other visitors. While bathrooms at parks will be open, people are urged not to congregate in them or other public buildings. Park headquarters and nature centers will be closed.

Campsites will also be closed until May, and refunds will be issued to those who reserved sites. No new reservations will be able to be made until June.

Officials say all the current regulations apply for the hunting and fishing seasons.

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