Last Updated July 3, 2020
Destination Yellowstone (West Yellowstone, Montana) strives to make sure every visitor experience is the best it can be by providing factual, up-to-date information to ensure our visitors can make informed travel decisions. Below you can find official resources to help you make those decisions, and anything else you may need to know about COVID-19 as it relates to travel to and within the West Yellowstone area.
We are committed to helping to keep our corner of Montana safe now and into the future. And we are counting on you, our valued visitor, to be a part of this effort.
There are many things you can do to ensure our state’s infection rate remains low:
- Check with your destination to learn all guidelines and protocols before you visit. Stay home if you are sick and come visit us when you are feeling better, we will still be here.
- Please be patient. It is important to remember that some services and may be limited.
- We all want to enjoy exploring Montana, let’s work together to keep each other safe and healthy.
To date, there are 1,128 confirmed cases in Montana (678 recovered, 17 active hospitalizations), and 298 confirmed cases in Gallatin County (45 active, 0 current hospitalizations). If you have questions about what is happening in Gallatin County, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, you can reach Healthy Gallatin 24 hours a day at (406) 582-3100.
June 1, 2020 – Montana entered Phase 2 of our re-opening. The 14 day non-resident quarantine will expire. Restaurants and bars can operate at 75% capacity including limited bar seating, and groups of up to 50 can gather socially distanced. The Montana Entrances to Yellowstone National Park open! Full press release here.
May 15, 2020 – Governor Bullock authorizes gyms, theaters and museums can reopen at limited capacity.
May 4, 2020 – We are excited to announce that some of our public lands are now opening with some specific guidelines in place. Groups can be no larger than 10, and social distancing of 6 feet is mandatory. 14-day quarantine required for out-of-state travelers and seasonal residents. Yellowstone National Park remains closed to the public.
Many West Yellowstone businesses are operating at reduced capacity and local restaurants are offering limited dine-in, delivery, and curbside. Please check with individual businesses to verify whether they are open. We also urge you to follow the health and safety guidelines of your local municipality.
April 22, 2020 – Gov. Steve Bullock announces guidelines for phased re-opening starting April 26th, 2020. Read full directive and guidelines here.
March 30, the Gov. implemented a mandatory 14 day quarantine for non-business travelers arriving in Montana from another state or country.
March 26, 2020 – Effective March 28, Gov. Steve Bullock issued a shelter in place / stay at home order for all Montanans.
March 24, 2020 – Effective immediately, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are closed to all park visitors until further notice. There will be no visitor access permitted to either park. State highways and/or roads that transcend park/state boundaries and facilities that support life safety and commerce will remain open. Both parks will cooperate on the implementation of the closures. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels. Read the full press release here.
March 20, Governor Steve Bullock today announced measures to close dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses and other activities that pose enhanced health risks. These include: Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption, bars, clubs, gyms, health clubs, movie theaters, casinos and more. Schools are now closed until April 17, 2020 (tentative). Read full directive here.
For current information regarding West Yellowstone attraction closures and restaurants offering take-out click here.
Prevention & Planning
Montana state and local public health officials are monitoring the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation very closely. Governor’s Coronovirus Task Force
While keeping health and safety top of mind, we are working hard to gather new information daily from partners and officials on the current state of travel. We are committed to keeping our visitors updated as new information becomes available. Please check this page frequently for updates.
If you decide to travel, be sure to practice precautions to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.
Each country or area may have different levels of risk. These risk levels may change as the COVID-19 event evolves internationally.
Helpful links on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website include:
If you are considering traveling, please refer to your local health or travel authorities for the latest information.
Flights and Border Services
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts in preparedness and readiness have facilitated a speedy, whole-of-government response in confronting COVID-19, keeping Americans safe, and helping detect and slow the spread of the virus.
As part of a Department-wide, layered response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and others are actively working to protect the nation.
CBP and CWMD, which houses the Department’s Chief Medical Officer, are providing direct support to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) efforts by conducting enhanced health screenings at 13 major airports. At and between all air, land and sea Ports of Entry (POEs), CBP Officers (CBPOs) and Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) continue to identify and refer individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 or a travel history to China, Iran, or certain European countries in the past 14 days to CDC or local public health officials for enhanced health screening.
The routing of all flights with passengers who have recently been in China, Iran, and certain European countries through select airports with established resources, procedures and personnel is an important, prudent step DHS is taking actively to decrease the strain on public health officials screening incoming travelers and protect the American public.
Please contact your airline for the latest information.
- Alaska: https://www.alaskaair.com/
- Allegiant: https://www.allegiantair.com/
- American Airlines: https://www.aa.com/homePage.do
- Delta: https://www.delta.com/
- Frontier Airlines: https://www.flyfrontier.com/
- JetBlue: https://www.jetblue.com/
- Sun Country: https://www.suncountry.com/
- United: https://www.united.com/
Events and Conferences
At this time, the CDC recommends that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.
Preventing Transmission of Diseases
- Wash hands often
- Cough into your elbow and sneeze into a tissue
- Consult with a doctor before traveling when sick
- Stay up-to-date on vaccinations
- Avoid contact with people who are already sick
- Avoid contact with animals while traveling
- Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Be aware of latest travel advisories from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. State Department
- Please visit the Center for Disease Control for the latest on how to prevent the transmission of diseases here
- Learn more about the coronavirus, symptoms, how it spreads, and prevention here
Seeking Medical Attention
All travelers who are visiting the West Yellowstone area and begin to feel ill can seek medical attention at area hospitals or urgent care centers.
Note: In suspected cases of the coronavirus, it is important to call ahead to the hospital, doctor or urgent care center first for advice. Where language may be a barrier, tour operators, accommodation providers, and other tourism businesses can provide support by offering to contact a health-care professional on their behalf. (Symptoms of a coronavirus infection include, but are not limited to, fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and difficulty breathing.)
If You Have Symptoms
For travelers who suspect they might have coronavirus symptoms, you must provide health-care professionals with the following info (via phone):
- Where you have been traveling, working or living;
- If you had close contact with a sick person, especially someone with a fever, cough or difficulty breathing
Business Resources for Re-Opening:
- The National Restaurant Association has a great deal of information and ideas: Check their information. ServSafe can help with trainings including Carry-Out and Delivery.
- Hotels, Motels, and other lodging facilities might turn to Montana Hospitality and Lodging Association for their information and words of wisdom.
- Open and Safe Print
What to Expect when Visiting Yellowstone National Park
Resources for More Information
Business Resources from the U.S. Travel Association
CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act
The CARES Act, the largest economic relief package in our nation’s history, was signed into law on March 27 and includes major provisions U.S. Travel fought for to deliver economic support to travel businesses, travel workers and their families. Learn what the different parts of CARES Act mean for you and your travel business with the guides below:
- Small Business Administration Business Interruption Loans (Paycheck Protection Program)
- Small Business Administration Coronavirus Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
- Small Business Administration Express Loans
- Emergency Stabilization Fund (Federal Reserve Facilities and Programs)
- Small Business Administration Debt Relief for New and Existing Loans
- Economic Relief for Airports and Tourism and Delay on REAL ID Enforcement
- Business Tax Provisions
Click here to find lenders available by state and region from the Small Business Administration.