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Four of Utah’s national parks this week announced that they would once again require all visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks while inside any park facilities, including park shuttles.
The change comes in response to new guidance from the Center for Disease Control, which has recommended that people wear masks indoors where there is “substantial and high transmission” risk. Covid cases have begun to climb in Utah in recent weeks, due in part to the new highly-contagious Delta variant of the virus as well as stalling vaccination numbers. Bryce Canyon announced the new policy on its Twitter account.
⚠️ Per new CDC guidance, all persons, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask inside federal buildings in counties with High or Substantial transmission rates. Bryce Canyon (Garfield County) is currently at a High rate of transmission.⬇️
— Bryce Canyon NP (@BryceCanyonNPS) July 28, 2021
“Park staff will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health,” a Bryce Canyon National Park update stated.
Following suit are Arches, Canyonlands, and Zion national parks, all located in counties with high Covid-19 transmission rates. Absent from this list is Capitol Reef National Park in Wayne County, an area currently showing low transmission rates.
Across the country, unvaccinated national park visitors are still required to mask up indoors, though it’s unclear how thoroughly the park service has enforced that rule. By federal mandate, masks are also required of all travelers indoors at airports and onboard public transportation.
As part of your trip-planning process, check individual national park websites and social media for updated guidelines and the CDC’s Data Tracker to see current transmission rates at your destination.