Yosemite National Park will soon require reservations for visits due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The California-based national park announced to the public it is accepting reservations starting on Monday, Feb. 1, in a post shared to its Facebook page.
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Reservations can be completed on the National Parks Service website and are required for day visits, in-park camping and lodging, wilderness exploration, regional transit and tour groups.
Guests will be allowed to visit Yosemite with a reservation beginning on Monday, Feb. 8.
“The temporary day-use reservation system will allow the park to manage visitation levels to reduce risks associated with exposure to COVID-19,” Yosemite’s Facebook post explained. “Day-use reservations will be required for all users, including annual and senior pass holders. Each reservation is valid for seven days and must be validated the first day of the reservation.”
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Reservations are not required for visits that occur before Feb. 8, the national park noted in response to an inquiry on Twitter.
Unlike other capacity measures implemented throughout California, the new reservation system is based on the number of vehicles entering the park instead of the number of individuals. Moreover, the park’s day-use permits are open to visitors from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. PST while wilderness permits will be available at entrance stations, according to other tweets from Yosemite National park.
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In terms of camping and lodging, day-use reservations are included with reserved overnight stays at the Upper Pines Campground, Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Valley Lodge, according to press release issued Friday.
“The reservation system will be in effect until local public health conditions improve,” the release stated. “The health and safety of park visitors, employees, and partners continues to be our number one priority.”
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California is the state with highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases. As of Monday evening, the state has more than 3.3. million positive cases reported, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.
For this reason, national park visitors are urged to follow coronavirus health and safety measures, including face cover wear, frequent hand washing and staying 6 feet apart from others.
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“This system is temporary to address public health concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Yosemite National Park wrote in a tweet. “The park is currently planning to operate this system through February 28, 2021 and will re-evaluate the need for the system based on public health guidance.”