NPS - National Park Service

05/24/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/24/2020 19:06

Dry Tortugas National Park is beginning to increase recreational access

News Release Date:
May 24, 2020

Contact:Allyson Gantt, 786-610-8023

Key West, Fla. - Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Dry Tortugas National Park is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning May 25, entrance fees will resume and Dry Tortugas National Parkwill reopen access to:

  • Outdoor areas on Garden Key, including Fort Jefferson, from sunrise to sunset
  • Loggerhead Key, from sunrise to sunset

In addition, the following spaces continue to be available:
  • Marine waters
  • Garden Key Harbor
  • Bird Key Harbor
With public health in mind, the following facilities and services remain closed at this time:
  • Concession tours
  • Campground
  • Visitor Center and bookstore
  • Visitor programs

'We are pleased to increase recreational access to Dry Tortugas National Park on Memorial Day,' said Superintendent Pedro Ramos. 'We recognize that outdoor recreation is important to our visitors and is possible while maintaining health and safety guidelines.'

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Dry Tortugas National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

We have amazing virtual tours of Dry Tortugas National Park, all of the time, so for people who are still home schooling or not traveling at this time check out our videos.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.