Mask Wearing Mandate

Compendium Modification Action: #21-005


Aug 16, 2021

Closures, restrictions, and public use limits:

Occupancy

Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, the following public safety restrictions are effective immediately, until further notice:

In localities where risk levels for Covid-19 transmission remain high, certain facilities will have posted occupancy limits for shared indoor spaces. Visitors must comply with any posted occupancy limits. Entering or remaining in any of the indoor locations identified after being asked not to enter or to leave the location because the maximum occupancy has been reached is prohibited.

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(2)

Mask Policy

Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, the following public safety restrictions are effective immediately, until further notice:

Regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in all common areas and shared workspaces in federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service and in office space leased by the National Park Service.

Federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service include, but are not limited to, visitor centers, administrative offices, maintenance facilities, and shared government quarters; buildings assigned to concessioners or other park partners; and buildings leased for commercial purposes to individuals or entities other than the National Park Service.

All individuals over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, must wear masks in the following outdoor areas when others are present, except when actively eating or drinking, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

  1. Campground amphitheaters or other interpretive locations when being used for presentations and/or public programs (including permitted activities)
  2. Any area of extended, physically concentrated use to include (but not limited to):
• Craggy Pinnacle Summit

• Linville Falls Viewing Area
• Rough Ridge Summit
• Devil’s Courthouse Summit
• Humpback Rocks Summit
• Sharp Top Summit and shuttle staging area

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks, including buses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.

This restriction is put in place pursuant to CDC issued guidance on Tuesday, July 27th. On July 28, 2021 NPS instituted DOI guidance that fully vaccinated individuals must wear a mask in public indoor settings if the park site is in an area of substantial or high community transmission. This requirement applies to all employees; visitors; on-site contractors; concessioner staff; commercial use authorization holders; non-residential lessees and sublessees and their customers, visitors, or guests; and other partners using or occupying federal facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

Any area open to visitation may be subject to short term crowding and high levels of use. In most of these areas visitors can easily take actions to increase physical distancing to the extent mask use would not be required in an outdoor environment to meet public safety objectives. At the locations listed above, and similar locations where visitor volume, geography, and/or infrastructure limit the physical movement of people and available space capacity, mask wear will be required and subject to enforcement. Application of the public use restriction in this manner provides clarity of understanding to both the public and NPS personnel on outdoor face mask enforcement expectations.

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(2)

This order will remain in effect until further notice. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis, and the order will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.

 
 
 

Last updated: August 23, 2021

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199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Phone:

(828) 348-3400

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