ATLANTA - The City of Atlanta has implemented new restrictive rules for Atlanta BeltLine trails during the coronavirus pandemic.
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The BeltLine has remained open thoughout Georgia's statewide shelter-in-place order, with officials arguing that the path "provides critical connections to essential services for residents."
Under the new guidelines however, trails will be limited use at certain times of the day.
From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., trails will be limited to older adults and anyone with a compromised immune system.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the trails remain open for exercise, though officials still say that social distancing is required.
After 2 p.m. trails should only be used for work travel and emergency needs.
The new restrictions come after over 9,000 people signed a petition to close the BeltLine, arguing that allowing crowds to access the trail does little to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
"The BeltLine is attributing to more danger than good at this current time," the petition organizers wrote on Change.org. "When citizens will not do what it takes to make the city safe, it is up to the government."
A spokesperson for the Mayor's Office said that "the Mayor has repeatedly stated that whether or not the BeltLine remains open is up to the individuals who use it. If residents practice social distancing, avoid peak hours and use a little common sense, there will be no need to close it."