California issues weirdly specific list of allowed outdoor activities during COVID-19 outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO -- Amid the great golf confusion of 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom was pressured to answer once and for all: What are Californians allowed to do outside during the shelter-in-place order?

Thankfully Californians can blow off some steam with "soft martial arts," according to an extremely specific list of allowed outdoor activities released by the state Thursday.

Tennis isn't allowed, but table tennis is (if that's any consolation). You can also explore rock pools if you're into that sort of thing. For those searching for more thrills than they'll find in the rock pools (though you never know!), there's also BMX biking and kite surfing.

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And as for the conflicting reports on golf, here's the final(ish) word: Golfing is allowed in the state of California, as long as you do it in singles with no cart. (Local guidelines may vary).

In Illinois' new order, state parks will start to reopen with social distancing, as will golf courses like Carriage Greens County Club in Darien.

"We're excited to be back at work, we're excited to be back in business and our customers are definitely excited to be golfing again," said owner Brian Broderick.

Only twosomes are allowed to tee off at one time, no golf carts can be used unless you have a disability, and social distancing markers are in place at the club.

"We're completely sold out this entire weekend. We sold out in about 24 hours," Broderick said.

Here's California's full list of permitted outdoor activities:

  • Athletics

  • Badminton (singles)

  • Throwing a baseball/softball

  • BMX biking

  • Canoeing (singles)

  • Crabbing

  • Cycling

  • Exploring Rock Pools

  • Gardening (not in groups)

  • Golf (singles, walking - no cart)


  • Hiking (trails/ paths allowing distancing)

  • Horse Riding (singles)

  • Jogging and running

  • Kite Boarding and Kitesurfing

  • Meditation

  • Outdoor Photography

  • Picnics (with your stay-home household members only)

  • Quad Biking

  • Rock Climbing

  • Roller Skating and Roller Blading

  • Rowing (singles)

  • Scootering (not in groups)

  • Skateboarding (not in groups)


  • Soft Martial Arts - Tai Chi, Chi Kung (not in groups)

  • Table Tennis (singles)

  • Throwing a football, kicking a soccer ball (not in groups)

  • Trail Running

  • Trampolining

  • Tree Climbing

  • Volleyball (singles)

  • Walk the dog

  • Wash the car

  • Watch the sunrise or sunset

  • Yoga


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Gov. Newsom said the list will be updated as restrictions loosen.
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