Larimer Health Director Tom Gonzales talks about why a stay-at-home order was needed to help fight coronavirus Fort Collins Coloradoan
After more than a month of closures due to coronavirus, Estes Park short-term rentals and accommodations can reopen April 27 with restrictions, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment announced Thursday night.
Visitors to the Estes Valley — the town itself and unincorporated areas near Estes Park — have been severely limited since March 23 to help slow the spread of coronavirus. That included a full ban on short-term rentals and motel lodging.
The new restrictions on short-term accommodations apply through May 31 and include:
- A guest occupancy limit of 50 percent of units within multiple-unit lodging facilities.
- Single-unit accommodations, such as vacation rental homes and bed and breakfast inns, must limit occupancy to no more than 8 individuals.
- State and local lodging regulations, when more strict, must be followed.
- No common amenities or areas can be accessible to guests except for check-in and check-out areas.
- Restrictions may be extended or amended in response to the pandemic.
Per Polis’ “safer-at-home” order, statewide guidelines like social distancing, wearing masks in public, no social gatherings of more than 10 people and more still apply to Estes Park and the Estes Valley.
“As we start our phased approach to lifting our stay at home orders, it is necessary to proceed slowly and cautiously. We need to continue protecting the health of the people in the Estes Valley area and minimize the impacts of this pandemic locally,” Larimer County public health Director Tom Gonzales said in a news release.
“Statewide orders will continue to prohibit non essential travel outside of your county of residence, and we need others not to travel up to the Estes Valley at this time.”
The Town of Estes Park issued the order for the accommodations sector, as it was not specifically addressed in the state’s broader public health orders.
“During the ‘Safer at Home’ phase, visitor services will still be limited in the Estes Valley as businesses operate under guidelines from Larimer County and the State public health experts, and this accommodations order,” Estes Park town administrator Travis Machalek said in the release.
“The Town continues to follow the guidance of public health experts as we balance the current public health situation and the need for businesses to reopen and for people to get back to work. The health of the people in our community remains our number one priority.”
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Chris Abshire is the sports and stats content coach at the Coloradoan. Contact him at ChrisAbshire@coloradoan.com. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.
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