The Interior Department has temporarily waived entrance fees at national parks, monuments and wildlife refuges, the Associated Press reports. The National Park Service has vowed to keep outdoor spaces open as a refuge for Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The move has drawn opposition from a group representing park service employees, due to concerns about overcrowding and virus exposure.
To mitigate these fears, parks are devising ways of keeping people safely apart and employees healthy.
Many parks have closed visitor centers, museums and entrance booths. Parks have also halted shuttles, closed restaurants and campgrounds, and moved employees away from duties that put them close to tourists. Some parks, especially those with wintry weather, have warned visitors to be extra cautious because of strained resources amid the pandemic.