Is It Safe to Visit National Parks Right Now?
The novel coronavirus has completely reshaped daily life for people around the world. As restrictions in the United States loosen, however, many people are attempting to get back into the swing of ordinary life. That includes normal summer activities, like visiting national parks.
While it's relatively simple to practice social distancing while camping or hiking, the influx of quarantine-weary travelers to parks across the country could make staying safe challenging. Fortunately, park officials have already taken remarkable steps to help ensure the safety and continued health of visitors.
What Precautions Have National Parks Taken?
The National Park Service (NPS) is following CDC guidelines while also implementing a phase-by-phase approach to reopening, much like many individual states. Each park goes through a full evaluation and weighs several factors before committing to a reopening schedule or visitor limit.
National Parks Still Have Social Distancing Challenges
Despite the NPS’ efforts, which even include the release of a dozen social distancing graphics to help potential visitors navigate changes to the parks, some visitors are still likely to engage in behavior that puts themselves and others at risk, so you should still be on the lookout for unsafe situations.
Are National Parks Safe?
The bottom line is that while you should be careful while visiting national parks, they are safe. Even so, it’s easy to make such an experience unsafe both for yourself and others by refusing to follow CDC or NPS guidelines and recommendations, so be sure to follow best practices.