Face masks required in Utah national parks, but not in all gateway cities

Apr 19, 2021, 1:49 PM
Utah national parks no longer have a mask mandate...
A time entry system may be to blame for fewer visitors to Arches National Park. Photo credit: Arches National Park/National Park Service.

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah has dropped its mask mandate put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and several cities that surround Utah’s five national parks have dropped similar requirements. But those who make the rules for Utah national parks themselves say masks are still required.

The reason lies in the names.  Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef are all national parks that fall under the federal mask guidelines that President Biden instituted on his first day in office.  The executive order mandates masks for all federal buildings and federal lands.

RELATED: Violence over mask policy won’t be tolerated, governor says

“Federal contractors and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines,” Mr. Biden’s executive order said.

And while many gateway cities have dropped mask requirements (Springdale, Bryce Canyon City, and Torrey), not all of them have. Moab still requires them, as does the whole of Grand County.

Grand County issued a public health order on March 2, 2021, citing the easy spread of COVID-19, CDC guidelines, and data provided by Utah officials which shows that masks reduce the probability of the transmission of COVID-19, as its reasoning to keep a mask mandate in place through June 15, 2021.

RELATED: Store owner describes clash with angry anti-mask customer

Children younger than 3 years of age and people with certain medical conditions or developmental disabilities are excluded from the Grand County mask mandate. Click here for the full text of the county’s public health order outlining mask use.

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Face masks required in Utah national parks, but not in all gateway cities