Earlier this week, the National Park Service announced updates to its operating procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the NPS added to those new guidelines by announcing a temporary suspension of park entrance fees.
The statement reads:
“After careful consideration, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt directed the National Park Service (NPS) to temporarily suspend the collection of all park entrance fees until further notice.
‘I’ve directed the National Park Service to waive entrance fees at parks that remain open. This small step makes it a little easier for the American public to enjoy the outdoors in our incredible National Parks,’ said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.
Other states and municipalities have implemented similar policies waiving fees to parks in an effort to support social distancing.
‘Our vast public lands that are overseen by the Department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing.’ Secretary Bernhardt continued.
At a majority of park locations where it is currently possible to adhere to public health guidance, outdoor spaces remain open to the public, while many facilities will be closed.”
The NPS continues to urge visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidelines by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups, washing your hands often with soap and water, and to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and most importantly, if you feel sick, please stay home.
Specifically, the CDC recommends high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, take extra precautions.
Updates about the NPS’ response to the coronavirus can be found at www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Check with individual parks for specific details about park operations before heading out.