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Responding to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for Montana's tourism industry partners

Tuesday, May 19, 2020/Categories: Market MT

Montana landscape

Guidance updated May 19, 2020 at 3:15 p.m.

The State of Montana prioritizes the health and safety of our citizens and visitors. We are closely monitoring the impacts of coronavirus or COVID-19 and are updating this page as-needed with new information. 

TRAVEL 

The 14-day travel quarantine for out-of-state travelers and residents arriving from another state or country to Montana for non-work-related purposes will be lifted on June 1. 

Governor Steve Bullock is asking visitors to do their part slow the spread of COVID-19 which means taking the same social distancing and sanitation precautions that Montanans are taking. 

The reopening of Montana’s tourism amenities and services will be gradual. It’s important to understand what is open and closed before arriving in the state. Tribal Nations in Montana have extended stay-at-home orders indefinitely and continue to exercise caution to protect their elders and other vulnerable populations from the spread of COVID-19. At this time, all tribal lands are closed to visitors. Refer to each tribal government website for real-time updates.

After June 1, visitors can expect to see the Montana National Guard continue to conduct screenings in airports and train depots and refer anyone with COVID-19-related symptoms to local public health officials. 

To support Montana’s destination communities, the state will assist with establishing the following protocols:

  • Establish test centers and ensure adequate supplies are available to meet resident, seasonal employee, and visitor needs within Montana’s most visited destination communities.
  • Coordinate a surveillance testing plan to create an early warning system for potential community spread in the most highly visited and highly vulnerable destination communities. 
  • Develop contingency plans for managing sick visitors, including contact tracing capabilities.

The state will also develop an informational campaign to encourage visitors to learn local guidelines and restrictions before they visit, to stay at home if sick, and to convey that some services in destination communities will potentially be limited during this year’s tourism season.

Until June 1, the following remains in place: 

All non-work-related travelers arriving to Montana from out-of-state or country must self-quarantine for 14 days or the duration of your stay in Montana. This applies to residents and non-residents of Montana.

If you are quarantining (e.g. have come from or traveled out-of-state) you cannot leave for groceries, public outdoor recreation (including hunting/fishing), to go to work or any other activity. You must remain at your place of quarantine for the duration of the quarantine period (14 days). Exceptions will only be made in the event of a medical emergency, fire, natural disaster or other act of God preventing the ongoing healthful habitation of a residence.

For the latest travel alerts, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

For the latest updates from Governor Bullock's Coronavirus Task Force, visit COVID19.MT.GOV.

STAY INFORMED

This is a rapidly changing public health situation and it’s important to stay informed by following reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The best way to prevent infection from COVID-19 and any respiratory virus is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The same preventative measures that are recommended during cold and flu season will also help to protect against coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue (or your elbow).
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have travelled to any destination during the past 14 days:

  • Monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
  • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
    • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
    • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.

We urge the traveling public to stay informed, seek information from reputable sources, and take preventative measures like washing your hands to protect against COVID-19.

EVENTS

Beginning June 1, gatherings may increase from 10 to 50 people as long as social distancing and capacity guidelines can be met.

TEMPORARY BUSINESS DIRECTIVE

Governor Steve Bullock has initiated a phased approach to reopening Montana. An April 22 Directive outlines the plan to begin phased reopening of Montana. Find the details below:

  • Effective Sunday, April 26:
    • Places of worship can become operational with reduced capacity and where strict physical distancing protocols can be maintained between non-household members. Places of worship should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.
  • Effective Monday, April 27:
    • Main Street and retail businesses can become operational with reduced capacity and where strict physical distancing protocols can be maintained.
    • Outdoor recreation can become operational if sites adhere to strict physical distancing between groups and exercise frequent sanitation protocols if public facilities are open.
  • Effective Monday, May 4:
    • Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos can become operational on or after May 4, 2020 under strict physical distancing and reduced capacity.
  • Effective Friday, May 15:
    • Gyms and fitness studios contribute to the health and wellness for many Montanans. As such, and in recognition of the continued progress toward recovery that Montana has made, beginning Friday, May 15, 2020 they will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity with sanitization and social distancing requirements met.
    • Museums and theaters may operate at 50% capacity with sanitization and social distancing requirements met.
  • Effective immediately through the end of the emergency:
    • Pools and hot tubs that are not part of licensed accommodation facilities (such as gyms or hotels) remain closed.
  • Effective Monday, June 1:
    • Phase Two will allow places of assembly to become operational that did not open in Phase One beginning on June 1 as long as they can meet social distancing guidelines and limited capacity requirements. 
    • Group gatherings can increase from 10 to 50 people. Avoid gathering in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. Groups larger than 50 people should be cancelled unless physical distancing can be maintained. 
    • Capacity can increase from 50 percent to 75 percent.
    • Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.
    • Vulnerable Montanans should still continue to stay home when possible during Phase Two. 
    • Visitation at nursing home and assisted living facilities remains suspended except for certain compassionate care situations. 
    • Employers should continue to encourage telework wherever feasible
    • The 14-day travel quarantine for out-of-state travelers and residents arriving from another state or country to Montana for non-work-related purposes will also be lifted on June 1

The places subject to this directive are permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing.

COORDINATED RESPONSE

The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development at the Department of Commerce is coordinating closely with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and Disaster and Emergency Services.

Governor Steve Bullock has assembled a multi-agency task force, including the Department of Commerce, to ensure Montana is prepared to address a local COVID-19 outbreak.

RESOURCES

If you are a business owner and have questions related to the phased approach to reopening and how the plan applies to you directly, please call 1-800-755-6672. The plan has been posted online at COVID19.MT.GOV.

For all other questions related to COVID-19 call 1-888-333-0461 or visit COVID19.MT.GOV.

Visit MontanaVISITMT.COM or 1-800-847-4868

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services: https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Hotline: 1-888-333-0461 or COVID19info@mt.gov 

Montana Coronavirus task force: COVID19@MT.GOV

Montana Disaster and Emergency Services on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

 

 
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DIRECTOR'S OFFICE | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE. | PO BOX 200501 | HELENA, MT 59620-0501 | P: 406.841.2700 | F: 406.841.2701 | TDD: 406.841.2702
 

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