Zion National Park closed down amid COVID-19 spread

Saturday, April 4, 2020


On Friday, the Zion National Park closed its doors to visitors becoming the latest national park to shut down in Utah. The closure took place as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.



Earlier the local leaders called for closure to mitigate the virus spread. The official closure announcement came after Governor Gary Herbert consulted with the Interior Department requesting them to make the final call.



Herbert said in a recent press statement that people in the park can use the rest of the day to collect their own belongings and prepare to leave with immediate effect. He informed that the stringent actions and more aggressive stance are being undertaken as the two forthcoming weeks are crucial for the region.



The park had already closed its shuttle, campgrounds, and part of a popular hiking trail to refrain crowds from getting involved with the attractions. The complete closure was called upon by the mayor of the gateway community of Springdale and other authorities.



The closure of Zion Park arrives two days after Grand Canyon National Park was closed. The two parks joined a growing list of the country’s most popular national parks that have closed, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains, Glacier, Arches, and Canyonlands. Most of the closures were decided by the governors and health officials of the respective states.



Nearly two weeks ago, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced he would waive entrance fees to give people outdoor spaces to recreate. Park superintendents were authorized to make their own decisions according to the requirements needed to abide by the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Utah and Arizona have also been working with the federal government to shut down the boat ramps at Lake Powell.



The National Parks Conservation Association, a non-profit group that advocates on park policy issues were of the opinion that the administration should have closed Grand Canyon and Zion Park much earlier.



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