Yellowstone National Park to reopen next week

Yellowstone National Park to reopen next week
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Yellowstone National Park will partially reopen next Monday, the National Park Service (NPS) said on Wednesday, following a closure due to coronavirus concerns. 

The park, which stretches across parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, produced a three-phased plan that begins with reopening its Wyoming South and East entrances. 

Visitors will initially be limited to traveling in the park’s lower loop, and will have access to the Old Faithful geyser and other features of the area. 

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Yellowstone will implement several “mitigation actions” that aim to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including providing some protective barriers, encouraging the use of masks and “metering” visitor access in certain places. 

A statement from the park said it is opening the Wyoming entrances following a request from the state. The plan states that the park “will continue to work closely with Montana and Idaho to reopen the remaining gates as soon as possible.”

“The park’s goal is to open safely and conservatively, ensure we take the right actions to reduce risks to our employees and visitors, and help local economies begin to recover,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly in the statement.

The news follows the reopening of other sites including Everglades National Park in Florida. It was also recently announced that Rocky Mountain National Park will start a phased reopening on May 27. 

Decisions to open the parks have been controversial, with some health experts and advocates saying it could be too soon. 

They have argued that reopening the parks could create unnecessary exposure to the virus for visitors and employees and that influxes of out-of-state visitors could strain local health systems and make the virus harder to track. 

Yellowstone was the sixth most-visited national park last year, attracting more than 4 million people, according to NPS