The National Park Service Has Implemented A Mask Mandate For All Employees And Visitors Of National Parks, In Line With Biden’s Executive Order Mandating Masks On Federal Properties.
Photo: In this May 4, 2020, file photo, Park ranger Tyler Gagat wears a protective face mask as he monitors activity at the Flamingo boat ramp during the coronavirus pandemic in Everglades National Park in Florida, as the park gradually reopens to the public in phases.
Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky / AP
Published February 3, 2021
The Center Square [By Derek Draplin]-
The National Park Service (NPS) has implemented the federal mask mandate for all employees and visitors of national parks and facilities on Tuesday, the agency announced.
The NPS, which manages 423 properties across the country, is now in line with President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating masks on federal properties that he signed on Jan. 20, his first day in office.
NPS officials said in a statement that the mask mandate will mean safer outdoor recreation.
“Wearing a mask around others, physical distancing and washing your hands are the simplest and most effective public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Captain Sara Newman, director of NPS’ Office of Public Health. “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.”
Masks are required in all NPS buildings and facilities, and on Park Service lands “when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes.”
Many parks, like Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, closed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to comply with local health orders. RMNP required reservations once it partially reopened in late May.
Parks also closed off trailheads and campsites to reduce foot traffic, and some altered bus schedules.
About the Author:
Derek Draplin, The Center Square Regional Editor
Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.