New Mexico Closes All State Parks to Non-Residents

Taylor Stephan | | Industry NewsIndustry News
State Park Closure
New Mexico State Park closure. Photo Credit: La Cruces Sun News

No New Mexico driver’s license? No entry. New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared all New Mexico State Parks are off-limits to all out-of-state tourists. This declaration comes in response to the recent Coronavirus surge in New Mexico after travelers flocked to the state during the 4th of July holiday period and recent easing of virus-related restrictions.

The closures only affect New Mexico State Parks, as the governor is requiring residents to show proof of residency, such as a New Mexico ID or license plate. She stated no overnight camping is allowed, and social distancing is required for any resident still visiting the state parks. National Parks do not fall under the order of the governor and are still open, as the National Parks Service oversees them. However, state guidelines require any out-of-state visitor to quarantine for 14 days in New Mexico.

“If you’re coming to a state park, that is an easy thing to enforce. We will turn you right around.”

– Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico Governor

The reception of the new rules has been mixed, and enforcement on the ground has been lax. The El Paso Times reported recent visitors to several state parks have not been asked to show proof of residency or to confirm if they have been quarantining per state guidelines but were given temperature checks and asked to wear masks.

White Sands
White Sands National Park, open while state parks are closed. Photo Credit: New Mexico True

Along with banning out of state travelers from visiting state parks, the New Mexico Governor’s emergency public health order includes restrictions that were previously lifted. Indoor dining in restaurants will once again be suspended; however, restaurants can have up to 50% occupancy for outdoor dining. Fall contact sports in schools are also suspended for the time being, and more school-related restrictions may follow as the school year approaches.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico has had approximately 15,000 positive tests and over 550 deaths due to Coronavirus. Neighboring states such as Texas and Arizona have experienced a surge of positive tests and deaths in recent weeks as well. Until the number of positive Coronavirus cases begins to drop, the New Mexico Governor will continue to keep restrictions in place for the ongoing future.

Public Health Order
Updated New Mexico Public Health Order. Photo Credit: NM Governor

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