The Biden administration’s mask mandate for federal properties presented a bit of a dilemma for Hot Springs National Park, which occupies a significant chunk of downtown Hot Springs.

Here’s what the park announced today about the new rule:

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To protect the health of those who live, work, and visit national parks and National Park Service (NPS) facilities, and in support of President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, NPS is immediately implementing a mask requirement for employees, visitors, partners and contractors.

At Hot Springs National Park, face masks are now required in all
park buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including Bathhouse Row, Grand Promenade, trails, scenic overlooks on Hot Springs, North, and West Mountains, Gulpha Gorge Campground, and day-use areas.

The public can find information about the requirement on the park website and on signs throughout the park.

In addition, the following public health measures and temporary closures remain in effect:
*Administration Building is temporarily closed
*Fordyce Museum is temporarily closed

Hot Springs National Park superintendent Laura Miller said, “Our first priority at Hot Springs National Park is the health of community residents, employees, and our visitors. We continue to work with our park partners and concession operations to provide the safest possible experience for all. We encourage everyone to
experience all that the park has to offer from hiking to bathing, in a respectful and responsible manner.”

As conditions are subject to change, visitors should check the park’s website and social media channels for details on operations before they visit. Other tips to recreate responsibly are available on NPS.gov. Park rangers are on duty to provide information, protect visitors and park resources, and uphold this requirement.