Updated Mask Requirements in National and Provincial Parks
US National Park Covid guidelines
The National Park Service (NPS) continues to work with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies in order to ensure the safety of park visitors and employees.
Consistent with the latest CDC recommendations regarding Covid-19, people not fully vaccinated (defined by less than two weeks since the last vaccination) must continue to wear masks in all NPS buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of enclosed public transportation.
Mask requirements for fully vaccinated visitors vary by park based on the current local conditions. For example, four of the five national parks in Utah are currently requiring masks for everyone, regardless of vaccination status if indoors. Masks are to be worn indoors in Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Zion National Parks. All three national parks in Colorado, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, and Rocky Mountain National Parks are currently requiring masks for all visitors if indoors.
If you are making plans to visit any location managed by the National Park Service, check the park website for the latest information regarding Covid-19 requirements as well as to learn about other alerts, such as fire bans, road closures, and required reservations.
US residents looking to get COVID-19 vaccine can visit vaccines.gov or text their zip code to 438829 to find a location close to them and make an appointment.
Canadian Provincial Park Covid guidelines
Canadian Provincial Park rules are similar but do seem to vary a bit by province. Each province has their own 4 step Restart plans in place and are driven by vaccination rates, low Covid-19 infection rates, lower hospitilzations, and deaths, etc.
In Manitoba Provincial Parks, Visitor Centres are open to fully vaccinated persons only and visitors must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination to enter interpretive centres and museums. Face Masks are required. The park staff may also choose to only allow one household in the visitor centres at a time. Manitoba public health officials will release new guidance on August 7th. The Alberta Provincial Parks have less restrictions but masks are still required on public transportation. Beginning August 16th, masks will no longer be required on public transportation in Alberta. Alberta is in Step 3 of their Restart Plan. Ontario Provincial Parks requirements vary by park, so it’s best to check www.OntarioParks.com prior to visiting. Ontario is in Step 1 of their Restart plan. British Columbia is in Step 3 of their Restart plan because they have vaccinated at least 70% of the 18+ year old population with one dose, along with low case counts and declining hospitalizations. Because of this, only those people twelve years old and older who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear masks indoors.
Prior to travelling to any national or provincial park, it is recommended to research the park’s website before visiting to ensure you understand the latest information regarding Covid-19 since the requirements continue to change frequently.