BANDY CREEK — The National Park Service said Monday that facial coverings will now be required inside all of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area’s buildings and facilities, as well as outside when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
The NPS made an official announcement implementing the mask requirement across all of its parks on Feb. 2, after President Joe Biden signed an executive order on mask-wearing.
The president cannot mandate masks for American citizens, but can require masks for federal employees and for those utilizing federal facilities. The executive order specified that “individuals in federal buildings and on federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures,” which prompted the NPS announcement.
“Working with public health officials and following the latest science and guidance, we can make national parks safer for employees, visitors and partners,” NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said last week. “We will continue to evaluate operations and make appropriate modifications to visitor services as needed.”
The Big South Fork said Monday that in addition to NPS buildings and facilities, masks are required on park lands “when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks.”