UPDATED: April 7, 2021
A state of emergency exists in Montana due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Although the state directive does not require masks, there are community-specific orders that do require and enforce mask wearing in indoor public spaces. In accordance with federal mandates, face coverings are also required on federal lands when social distancing is not possible—this includes Glacier National Park.
We have all gone to great lengths to help control the spread, and it remains imperative that we continue to do our part by following community and CDC guidelines, and by being conscious and protecting Montana’s most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. By continuing to take measures seriously, we protect our family, friends and neighbors as Montana begins to emerge from its initial encounter with COVID-19.
At this time, social distancing is still expected, and all vulnerable or high-risk individuals should continue to follow the stay-at-home guidance and postpone nonessential travel. Everyone, especially those at higher risk of getting sick, should continue to follow Montana Department of Public Health recommendations to protect themselves.
Although face coverings in Montana are not regulated by state mandate, they are required in certain communities and on federal properties when you’re inside public indoor spaces and outdoors where social distancing isn’t possible.
Current communities are following more stringent safety protocols than those set by the state of Montana and have added more restrictive safety guidelines, including mask mandates. Currently, those include Missoula County, Lake County, the City of Whitefish, the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park.
If you’re not sure about a community’s face-covering regulations, play it safe and wear a mask.
Our two Tribal Nations also have mandates that differ from the state’s, and it is important that travelers are up-to-date to avoid disappointment and to keep our tribes safe.
Blackfeet Indian Reservation
As of March 12, 2021, the Blackfeet Nation has moved to Phase 3 of their COVID-19 plan. Masks are required for residents and visitors above the age of 2, and everyone must practice social distancing. A curfew is in effect from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for anyone under the age of 18. Gatherings are limited to the number recommended by the CDC. Tribal campgrounds and other open spaces for gathered public recreation will be reopened at the discretion of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. Most businesses are reopening at a reduced capacity of 75%.
Click here for more details.
Flathead Indian Reservation
The Flathead Indian Reservation is open to nonresidents. All recreation restrictions were lifted, effective September 8, 2020, on Tribal lands within the Flathead Indian Reservation, although Tribal conservation and fishing permits are required. View the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Who’s at Risk campaign before traveling to our Tribal Nations.
Develop and implement appropriate policies, in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance, and informed by industry best practices, regarding:
Read the Governor's Directive.
*Local jurisdictions may enact guidelines that are more restrictive than the State guidelines. Visit SafetyFirstMT.com for city, county and tribal nation guidelines.
The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development created the Montana Aware campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. The public health initiative aims to educate residents and visitors on safe travel best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this initiative, the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development has developed a toolkit of resources to help you educate residents and visitors on safe travel best practices. The toolkit includes posters, graphics and logos. View the full toolkit.
Glacier Country Tourism worked with the Montana Department of Commerce to implement the Montana Aware campaign. We assisted with the coordination of distributing safety messaging in our communities. The safety messaging included a number of physical materials included in the toolkit. To inquire if these materials are available in your community, please email MTAware@glaciermt.com.
March 12: The Blackfeet Nation has moved to Phase 3 of their COVID-19 plan. Masks are required for residents and visitors above the age of 2, and everyone must practice social distancing. A curfew is in effect from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for anyone under the age of 18. Gatherings are limited to the number recommended by the CDC. Tribal campgrounds and other open spaces for gathered public recreation will be reopened at the discretion of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. Most businesses are reopening at a reduced capacity of 75%.
Click here for more details.
February 12: Governor Gianforte updates the state of Montana's Directive.
January 5: The City of Whitefish passes emergency ordinance to reinstate local mask mandate.
October 28: Due to a spike in COVID cases, Missoula County issued a mandatory order that reduces group sizes to 25. The directive can be viewed here.
Before I share with you what we are doing at Glacier Country Tourism, I want to take a moment to share with you an optimistic thought.
The challenge that this outbreak represents to you, and to your family, friends and community is unlike anything we have seen before. We find ourselves having to process our way through uncertainty, understandable anxiety and heightened risk. At some point though, hopefully sooner rather than later, the world will return to normal. Throughout history, people have always risen to meet whatever challenges have been thrown their way—usually emerging stronger than ever.
What is most important now is that you stay safe and healthy. To that end, here is what Glacier Country Tourism is doing to help share messaging about how to ensure the safety and health of our communities and industry.
Glacier Country Tourism is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely. Montana public health agencies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Travel Association and many other trusted agencies and associations are providing regular updates regarding the current status and its impact on the travel and tourism industry. We will be making every effort to help share current information about ongoing developments.
We are doing our best to keep our communities healthy and safe, which means incorporating a social distancing into our operations including our staff working from home. Our team and on-line visitor resources are fully operational and can be reached during normal business hours.
The travel industry has always been one of the first sectors of our economy to recover after a crisis and we will be here to ensure that happens as responsively as able.
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we face these challenging times together.
Racene Friede l President CEO
April 7: The Latest on Coronavirus
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March 25: Travel Recovery Data Report March 2021
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February 25: Travel Recovery Data Report February
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Glacier Country Tourism provides a marketing voice much louder than what we could do on our own. Their audience exposure and traffic are at a scale we’d be silly not to take advantage of.