ST. GEORGE — Zion National Park officials have a word of advice when visiting Zion National Park in the near future: Bring your own mask.
While COVID-19 mask requirements have been lifted in most of Southern Utah, they are still required aboard the park shuttles at Zion – whether a person is vaccinated or not. And until peak season requirements are lifted in November, the Zion Canyon Shuttle is the only way to get to stops and trails along the park’s scenic drive besides hiking.
While shuttles are now allowed to be full again, all windows are kept open for circulation and masks must be worn at all times throughout the trip.
While the park will provide blue, disposable masks for visitors who don’t have them, Zion National Park spokesperson Amanda Rowland told St. George News that they are running out.
“Handing out masks is the final backup. It’s a last resort,” Rowland said, adding that she hopes people will make sure to dig out the masks they had put away a month or two ago when most places ended their mask requirements after the Centers for Disease Control announced masks weren’t needed for vaccinated individuals. “The goal is we give those away but as a last resort.”
Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said during a Springdale Town Council meeting last week that the contractor for the park shuttles, Park Transportation Inc., has had five shuttle employees resign because of what they said was verbal abuse from passengers refusing to abide by the mask requirement.
The federal regulations covering the mask requirement on the Zion Canyon and Springdale shuttles is the same one that still requires masks on all passenger airplanes in the U.S.
The requirement may not be difficult for tourists from out of town, as mask requirements or recommendations are coming back in many parts of the country and the world with a resurgence of COVID-19 – especially among unvaccinated individuals.
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