The National Parks Service will now require people visiting parks to wear masks. This comes as the agency’s effort to follow the executive order issued by President Joe Biden last month.
In line with an executive order provided by President Joe Biden, the National Parks Service will now require masks, according to an announcement by the Department of Interior on Tuesday.
Biden, on his first day as president, issued the mask mandate order. It required everyone in federal buildings and on federal land under the executive branch to wear masks. This includes national parks managed by the DOI.
In a statement shared by the DOI, Sara Newman, the director of the NPS Office of Public Health, said that mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing are the “simplest and most effective public health measures” that can significantly help in limiting the spread of COVID-19.
In line with the directive, employees and anyone who visits the buildings, facilities, and other places where “physical distancing cannot be maintained” in state parks are required to put on a face mask.
NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge mentioned that the agency will continue to evaluate the way they operate. He added that they will make adjustments to it as needed.
The agency also recommends for people who plan on visiting state parks check park websites for operational updates.
Prior to the order, early on in the pandemic, state-run park sites did not have a mask mandate in place for visitors. Instead, the agency only encouraged wearing masks.
This, however, changed with the president’s executive order.