Zion National Park to reopen select areas May 13

Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

ZION NATIONAL PARK, Springdale, Utah, May 3, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Zion National Park has announced it will reopen select areas of the 229 square mile park starting May 13.

The opening will provided daytime recreational used of limited specific areas, to be announced.

“This action supports the White House guidelines for Opening Up America Again, and our continued coordination with the State of Utah, southwest Utah elected leaders, park partners, and local businesses,” a brief statement on the park website says.

“We will provide more information in the days to come on what will be accessible on our park and local tourism websites.

“As we move forward, the health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners will guide our operational approach to examine each facility function and service and ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance. Visitor access will be limited to available parking in some areas.”

The park announced its closure, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 3. The move came after Utah’s Health Department recommended the closure, an act supported by the director of the National Park Service, according to a statement released at the time.

“We appreciate the collaboration with state and local agencies and their expertise in steps to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19,” said Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh, in the April statement.

“Zion has been carefully assessing our ability to provide a safe environment amid this crisis and in making progressive changes to operations as needed. However, visitors are continuing to come to the park from all across the country at numbers difficult to maintain social distancing.”

Specific measures to be taken to increase staff and visitor safety when Zion reopen have not yet been announced. Measures required of Utah businesses reopening have included the wearing of face masks, social distancing of 6 feet between unrelated groups or individuals, limited guest admissions and increased sanitation of facilities.


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