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U.S. National Park Service Enforcing Mask Mandates For Visitors and Employees

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The National Park Service announced August 16th that it is enforcing mask mandates immediately for all visitors and employees. This is due to the surge of COVID-19 cases that emerged from the highly contagious Delta variant. Plus, the pandemic forced many Americans to choose domestic vacations, and as a result, many popular United States National Parks have seen record numbers of visitors this year.

Top 10 Things To Know Before Visiting U.S. National Parks

 National Park Services Enforces Mask Mandates

Below are the reasons for the reinstated mask mandates for US National Parks:

Huge National Park Attendance in 2021

As the summer began, many Americans traveled in record numbers to the most popular national parks in the country. In Utah, Arches National Park was one of the major national parks that saw a significant influx of visitors that led to overcrowding. As a result, other national parks such as Yosemite National Park and Yosemite National Park have encouraged guests to visit the lesser known national parks to avoid this overcrowding. 

As a result of this overcrowding, the National Parks are planning to implement a reservation system. The system can protect the parks from not only the further transmission of COVID-19, but protect the parks from the all the negative impacts the parks have faced due to over tourism. 

The Delta Variant is Prevalent Even In Wilderness Areas

The Delta variant continues to wreak havoc in the United States due to the many Americans that remain unvaccinated. The spread has even made it into the remote areas of the country. Areas that were once thought safe from virus transmission have had increased infection rates. The rates increased significantly since the beginning of the summer travel season.

“Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world,” stated NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge, “Because of this, and recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we are implementing a service-wide mask requirement to ensure our staff and visitors’ safety.” This new policy reinstates the mask mandate that was issued last February by the National Park Service. 

New National Park Entry Requirements

The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) recommends social distancing measures of at least six feet from persons not in your household to prevent the spread of the virus. The outdoor activities at the national parks remain the safest choice for your visit. Many solitary activities such as solo hiking in uncrowded areas is another way to stay safe. 

The new mask rules in effect specify that all visitors, employees, and contractors are required to wear masks indoors. This includes all National Park buildings. The rules apply regardless of vaccination status and also includes any crowded outdoor areas as well. 

Get Vaccinated, Then Enjoy the Parks

The National Park Service is also recommending that park visitors receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Marla Said, an epidemiologist with the NPS Office of Public Health stated, “Being vaccinated is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of the coronavirus.” Said also mentioned that masking combined with the vaccine was the best way to prevent the spread of the new variants. 

READ MORE:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2021

6 Lesser Known National Parks To Visit in Alaska

America’s Newest National Park: New River Gorge

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Jake

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Keep complying this this insanity and within the next few years they will simply close the parks "for your safety" and shut off access to huge swathes of the country. This will never end unless people stop going along with this madness.

Christian

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Why would anyone get vaccinated if not only it doesn’t protect against the Delta variant, but also doesn’t prevent the spread of the virus.