National parks will now require masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The National Park Service (NPS) reimplemented a mask mandate on Aug. 16 that requires all visitors and employees to wear a mask inside all NPS buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, according to an announcement on Monday.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
“Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world,” NPS deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a statement. “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.”
The new mask requirement applies to all NPS buildings, public transportation systems and outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible, community transmission levels notwithstanding. Contractors who work for the park service must also heed the regulations.
“Being vaccinated is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of the coronavirus. Masking in addition to being vaccinated will help prevent the spread of new variants and protect those who are more at risk of severe disease,” Capt. Maria Said, M.D., an epidemiologist in the NPS Office of Public Health and a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, said in a statement. “This simple act of kindness allows us to be safe while we continue to enjoy the benefits of our national parks.”
The updated mask guidance reinstates President Joe Biden’s January executive order requiring all federal workers, including the NPS, to wear masks at work to curb the spread of COVID-19, which the NPS implemented on Feb. 2.
Under former President Donald Trump, face masks at NPS facilities were not required, but rather encouraged, including in states with local mask mandates in effect.
In 2020, more than 237 million people visited the country’s national parks, a 28% decrease in attendance from 2019 due to pandemic-induced temporary park closures and restrictions. Despite the drop, park visitors have reported long wait times to enter, packed parking lots and massive crowds.
Featured photo of Yosemite National Park by NurPhoto/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees