National Park Service implements mask requirement across all parks and federal buildings

Images courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — To protect the health of those who live, work and visit national parks and facilities, and in support of the President Joe Biden’s executive order on protecting the federal workforce and requiring mask-wearing, the National Park Service implemented a mask requirement for employees, visitors, partners and contractors.

Visitors to Zion National Park line up to board the shuttle to take them up the Main Canyon Scenic Drive, Zion National Park, Utah, Oct. 16, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

In a press release issued Tuesday by the U.S. Department of the Interior, face masks are required to be worn in all National Park Service buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on park service-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes.

Sara Newman, public heath director captain for the park service, said wearing a mask around others, physical distancing and handwashing are the simplest and most effective public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Getting outside and enjoying our public lands is essential to improving mental and physical health, but we all need to work together to recreate responsibly,” Newman said.

Additional public health measures are in place across the service, from capacity limits to one-way trails, or even temporary closures in response to local conditions.

Shawn Benge, deputy director for the park service said in the statement that they will continue to evaluate operations and make appropriate modifications to visitor services as needed.

“Working with public health officials and following the latest science and guidance, we can make national parks safer for employees, visitors and partners,” he said.

Visitors should check individual park websites and social media channels for details on operations before they visit. Park rangers are on duty to provide information, protect visitors and park resources and uphold this requirement. Find other tips here.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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