Closure Order 20-002

Closure Order # 20-002
April 6, 2020

Closure, restrictions and public use limits

Closure Order – Portion of a Park Area: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, the follow park areas and facilities are closed, effective immediately, until further notice:

  • Great Falls Park Visitor Center

  • All restrooms including porta-johns

  • Parking lots/areas including:

    • Great Falls Park

    • Riverside Park

    • Collingwood Picnic Area parking

    • Fort Hunt Park

    • Belle Haven Picnic Area parking but not marina

    • Jones Point Park

    • Gravelly Point

    • Theodore Roosevelt Island

    • Fort Marcy

    • Roaches Run (Saturday and Sunday)

Closure Order – All of a Park Area: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, all lands administered by the National Park Service within Clara Barton National Historical Site are closed, effective immediately, until further notice.

Notice: This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of George Washington Memorial Parkway, Clara Barton Parkway and its administrative units, including park visitors, government employees, concession employees, and stakeholders, except as follows:

  • Contractors performing essential business for the National Park Service (e.g. landscaping, mowing, custodial, construction)

Finding: The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of maintaining public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This order is consistent with the following local, state, and federal public health directives:
World Health Organization pandemic March 11, 2020

National Emergency declaration March 13, 2020
CDC guidance regarding mass gatherings and events

Commonwealth of Virginia, Executive Order 53

  • On March 17, 2020, I, along with the Virginia State Health Commissioner, issued an Order of the Governor and State Health Commissioner Declaration of Public Health Emergency

  • Beginning 11:59 PM on March 24, gatherings of more than ten people are banned statewide. See the full text of Executive Order 53, here. For answers to commonly asked questions, please see here.

  • Virginians to limit all non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible.

  • The order is in effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 11:59 PM until Wednesday, June 10 at 11:59 PM. It applies to the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • If you choose to go to the park, for a walk, or exercise outside, please practice strict social distancing and keep six feet apart from others. All public and private gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.


  • Orders Currently in Effect

  • Maryland Department of Health FAQ

  • Original March 12 order stated the Maryland Department of Health recommend canceling large gatherings and social distancing in smaller groups. Language remains in the March 30 superseding order.

  • All persons living in the State of Maryland are hereby ordered, effective as of 8:00 p.m. on March 30, 2020, to stay in their homes or places of residences

  • No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes.

  • Out-of-State Travel. No Marylander should be traveling outside of the state unless such travel is absolutely necessary.

  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, but only in compliance with paragraph III below and applicable social distancing guidance published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the Maryland Department of Health (“MDH”)

  • Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events (“large gatherings and events”) of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.

  • Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.

District of Columbia

  • Mayor’s Order 2020-054 Stay at Home

  • the most effective approach to slowing the community transmission of communicable diseases like COVID-19 is through social distancing.

  • engage in Allowable Recreational Activities

  • outdoor activity with household members that complies with Social Distancing Requirements

These directives require the NPS to take the actions identified above because:

  • Public health directive requires social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Allowing the continuation of parking creates congestion and visitation at levels such that social distancing cannot be reasonably achieved.

  • Public health directors prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people. Allowing individuals to mingle and gather within the park increases the risk of disease introduction and spread. Opening the visitor center is likely to violate the requirement that no more than 10 persons gather together. Accepting permit applications for demonstrations, special events, or pavilion reservations would likely violate the requirement on gatherings of 10 or more people.

    • The NPS will not accept applications for demonstrations or special event permits.

    • The NPS will not accept Fort Hunt Pavilions reservations. Permits issued will be revoked for events prior to May 15, 2020.

  • This order is consistent with state directives that restrict traveling out of the state.

  • Closure of facilities and parking lots allow for the continued use of trails, open space, and green space where social distancing is more feasible.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will be modified or removed when conditions warrant.

Approval: Charles Cuvelier 4/6/2020

Last updated: April 8, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean, VA 22101


(703) 289-2500

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