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Masks Now Required at All National Parks

Visitor wearing a mask inside the museum at Wright Brothers National Memorial. Photo: NPS/Kurt Moses

Employees, visitors, partners and contractors must now wear a mask while at all national parks and federal buildings, including those in coastal North Carolina.

These parks include Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Cape Lookout National Seashore and Moores Creek National Battlefield.

The National Park Service implemented Tuesday the mask requirement “to protect the health of those who live, work and visit national parks and facilities,” and in support of the President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing.

“Wearing a mask around others, physical distancing and washing your hands are the simplest and most effective public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said NPS Office of Public Health Director Captain Sara Newman in a statement. “Getting outside and enjoying our public lands is essential to improving mental and physical health, but we all need to work together to recreate responsibly.”

Face masks are required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes. Additional public health measures are in place across the service, from capacity limits to one-way trails, or even temporary closures in response to local conditions.

“Working with public health officials and following the latest science and guidance, we can make national parks safer for employees, visitors and partners,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “We will continue to evaluate operations and make appropriate modifications to visitor services as needed.”

Tips to recreate responsibly are available and park rangers are on duty to provide information, protect visitors and park resources, and uphold this requirement.

Visit the following websites for a full listing of operations at each park on the coast:

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.