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Missouri State Parks campgrounds begin phased reopening May 18

Several changes will be instated, including a contactless self-check-in feature

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Parks will begin a phased reopening of its campgrounds on May 18.

The reopening plan, announced by the Department of Natural Resources Thursday, is the first step in a return to normal operations under Gov. Mike Parson's "Show Me Strong" Recovery Plan.

At 3 p.m. Monday, the campgrounds will reopen to accommodate existing campground reservations. New reservations will also be accepted Monday for arrival dates beginning May 26.

Missouri State Parks is currently only accepting credit and debit card payments.

Several changes will be in place at the campgrounds, including a new contactless self-check-in feature. Campers will receive an email with how to check-in online, or they can check-in by hovering their smartphone's camera over a QR code posted at the campsite.

Reservations will no be required upon arrival and occupancy will be limited at some sites. Shower houses and restrooms will be cleaned more frequently.

Visitors are expected to practice social distancing measures such as remaining 6 feet apart and avoiding crowded areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We are happy to be able to reopen our campgrounds and provide another outdoor recreational opportunity for our visitors, but, as you might expect, our guests will see some changes," said Carol Comer, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, in a press release. 

"We hope all of our visitors will continue to be respectful of others, practice social distancing, avoid crowded areas, and do their part to help keep our parks and historic sites safe and clean."

For more information, to make a reservation or to check individual park advisories, visit the Missouri State Parks website.

On Monday, Elephant Rocks State Park, Castlewood State Park and two other state parks reopened after being closed due to concerns over social distancing.

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