The concern and reaction to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has permeated almost every aspect of our lives. Governmental entities are also being forced to adjust their habits, and in the instance of the National Park Service, that will benefit all of us who enjoy the outdoors. The NPS is suspending the collection of all park entrance fees until further notice.
“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. “Our vast public lands that are overseen by the department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing.”
Some states and municipalities have implemented similar policies, waiving fees to parks in an effort to support social distancing. Mind you, not all NPS facilities are currently open, though most of the ones in open spaces and woodlands are.
The Department of the Interior and NPS continue to urge visitors to do their part when visiting a park to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
Specifically, the CDC recommends high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, take extra precautions to be best protected against the spread of coronavirus.