National Park Service waives entrance fees during coronavirus outbreak

National Park Service waives entrance fees during coronavirus outbreak
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The National Park Service (NPS) will no longer collect entrance fees at its parks that remain open during the coronavirus outbreak, the agency announced Wednesday.

“I’ve directed the National Park Service to waive entrance fees at parks that remain open. This small step makes it a little easier for the American public to enjoy the outdoors in our incredible National Parks,” Secretary David Bernhardt of the Interior Department, which oversees NPS, said in a statement.

“Our vast public lands that are overseen by the department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing,” he added.

That could mean significant savings for some nature lovers, as fees can run as high as $35 per vehicle at some national parks. The fees are suspended until further notice.

However, many of the park service’s properties are already closed due to the virus. Some parks have closed completely, while others have shut down visitor’s centers or other spots where people might gather in close proximity.

NPS’s decision follows that of some states and towns that have already vowed to waive fees or keep parks partially open during the outbreak.