Published On: Fri, Mar 20th, 2020

Park modifies permit process for group events 

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have modified the permitting process for group events and reservations for group sites at campgrounds and picnic areas in a continuing effort to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing.

Effective immediately, reservations for group sites at campgrounds and picnic pavilions are canceled through April 30. At this time, campsites for parties of six people or less and individual picnic sites remain open. Special Park Use permits for events and gatherings of more than 10 people are canceled through March 31. Please note that as conditions change in our nation and region, visitors should anticipate further operational changes as the park continues to do our part in preventing the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

At this time, seasonally open park campgrounds, picnic areas, roads, trails, and restroom facilities located adjacent to Visitor Centers remain open and accessible to the public. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Great Smoky Mountains National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. For more information about current conditions in the park, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.

– National Park Service release

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