News Release

Castle Clinton is beginning to increase recreational access to park grounds

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Date: July 17, 2020

New York, New York – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Castle Clinton National Monument is increasing recreational access and services. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning Monday July 20, 2020, Castle Clinton will reopen access to:

  • Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island Ferry – Ticket/Will Call Office (visitors must observe social distancing and crowd control measures)
  • Restrooms (capacity limited to two persons per restroom)
  • Eastern National Gift Store (capacity limited to two customers at a time)
  • First Aid Room (capacity limited to one patient at a time)

With public health in mind, the following facilities/operations remain closed/suspended at this time:
  • Castle Clinton Exhibit Room
  • Ranger led interpretive tours/talks

Park Superintendent Shirley McKinney adds: “The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Castle Clinton, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”  

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders (New York City:, New York State: practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.   

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website ( and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: August 26, 2020

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