Mayor issues new guidelines for Atlanta BeltLine usage during COVID-19 outbreak

After weeks of complaints and concerns about the number of people using the Atlanta BeltLine trails during the COVID-19 outbreak, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced new usage guidelines during a morning conference call with the Atlanta City Council.

Bottoms said usage of the trails had dropped significantly, but the temporary guidelines would help to insure more social distancing.

From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., the trails will be limited for use by older adults and those with compromised immune systems who need a place to exercise. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the trails are being designated for those who don’t have access to other trails for exercise. After 2 p.m., Bottoms said the trails would be limited to work and essential travel and encouraged residents to avoid the BeltLine.

There were no details on how these new guidelines would be enforced by police.

In other updates, Bottoms said that overall crime had dropped 13 percent in the city during the outbreak, but there has been an uptick in commercial burglaries due to many businesses being closed.

Bottoms said basketball goals and volleyball nets were being removed from city parks to stop gatherings.

Hazard pay for city workers will be extended through June 30 and backdated to March 11.

Rent relief will be offered for seniors, families, and other residents who live in Atlanta Housing-owned or subsidized units and have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Housing Choice Voucher Program participants. Residents suffering a loss of income due to COVID-19 can certify their current income and upon approval, receive a rent reduction, up to 100 percent of the contract rent, for two months, covering the months of April and May 2020, with AH making payment directly to the property owner or management company.

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