Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford last September banned visitors unaffiliated with its academic programs from entering much of its campus, a sweeping restriction that university leaders said was necessary to resume research and teaching in the fall quarter.
Entrance to the university's designated "academic zones" — which included most of the campus area between Junipero Serra Boulevard and El Camino Real, including the Quad, the Oval, Lake Lagunita and the university's playing fields — was limited to approved faculty, staff, postdocs and students.
The "arts district," which includes the Rodin Sculpture Garden, Cantor Arts Center, the Anderson Collection, Frost Amphitheater and Bing Concert Hall, also became off-limits to the general public, as were areas just east and west of central campus that include student housing, academic and cultural facilities.
Members of the community were allowed only on the Campus Perimeter Trail and Campus Drive, the Dish hiking trail, the Arboretum, Sand Hill Fields, the Stanford Golf Course and the Stanford Golf Course Learning Center and Driving Range. Visitors found anywhere else on campus were asked to leave by university safety personnel.
"We deeply appreciate how the Stanford community and our neighbors adjusted to the campus zones program so we could safely and gradually bring back more in-person teaching and research activities during the COVID-19 pandemic," Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement last week.
"It is encouraging that public health conditions have improved sufficiently that we can now welcome more people back to our campuses," Tessier-Lavigne said.
The restoration of access to open spaces is the latest stage of the campus' reopening. Restrictions to the university's arts district and the athletics zone were lifted in April.
Access to many indoor facilities remain limited, however, in order to maintain appropriate health and safety precautions, the university's announcement stated.
Parking at the main campus returned this week to weekday enforcement for commuter and visitor parking. Most visitor spaces are being enforced from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays or according to posted signage. Most commuter spaces are being enforced between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Hourly visitor parking permits are available for purchase through the ParkMobile app or at transportation.stanford.edu, according to the announcement.
While the public continued to use the Dish hiking trail since last fall, the one-way traffic flow that was instituted to ensure physical distancing ended June 16. Hikers are no longer required to wear masks unless they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and those from different households. People should continue staying to the right of the path unless passing, the university advised.
Because the drinking fountain at the Dish is turned off, visitors are encouraged to bring their own water. Hikers should also avoid gathering in groups and use the gate entrances according to ground markings.
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