It is not business as usual just yet for the Texas State Parks system, but the popular park sites around the Lone Star State took a step back in that direction earlier this week.


The parks system had been forced to close at the end of business on April 7 as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Lone Star State’s government responded to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.


After being shuttered through the typically busy Easter weekend, Abbott ordered the parks system to reopen again in a directive late last week. That reopening came on Monday, April 20 when TPWD followed the governor’s directions and threw out the welcome mat again.


Do note, however, that parks are only open for day use, there are additional restrictions, and not all parks have been able to reopen just yet. That includes Bonham State Park, which remains closed because of sewer problems according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website (www.tpwd.texas.gov).


Otherwise, the other parks here in the Texoma region — Lake Texoma’s Eisenhower State Park and Ray Roberts Lake State Park — are open again.


In addition to being open only during daylight hours, TPWD says that advance day pass reservations are required. Call 512-389-8900 to make such reservations, then be sure to print out those passes before arriving.


The agency also notes that face coverings are now required in Texas state parks, social distancing directives remain in place for staying six feet away from people not in your group, and no groups of more than five people are allowed currently.


Since news about the COVID-19 changes is fluid and subject to change rapidly, please note that TPWD may be required to adjust hours of operation. Because of that, be sure to check the agency’s “Texas State Parks Alert Map” online for the latest information available before heading out the door.