The National Park Service (NPS) announced it no longer would require masks to be worn by fully vaccinated people on public lands, in accordance with recent guidance announced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
NPS manages 423 parks covering more than 85 million acres in the 50 states, District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated people, however, remain required to wear masks. Fully vaccinated people still have some mask requirements as well.
“Consistent with CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated (less than 2 weeks past your final dose) must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces,” NPS stated. “All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and in healthcare settings on DOI lands.”
An Interior Department spokesman said visitors should research parks before arriving to determine whether requirements change.
“Before visiting, visitors should check https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm to determine its operating status,” the spokesman said.
NPS said the mask mandate changes will apply to employees and staff as well.
“Employees, volunteers, partners, and contractors who are not yet fully vaccinated are required to wear face masks while inside federal buildings and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained,” NPS stated. “When required, the NPS issues protective equipment to employees performing critical functions like visitor and resource protection, EMS, and facility maintenance, among others.”
Park cleaning and maintenance will continue to follow CDC guidance regarding risk assessment, disease prevention, and protection of public spaces and workplaces.