Travel Advisory – COVID-19
The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT) is closely monitoring COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Arkansas and is engaged with state health officials to ensure preparedness as the situation evolves. The health and safety of our residents and our visitors is, and will always be, our top priority. With this in mind, we encourage potential travelers to assess their own health risks before traveling.
For those who choose to travel inside the state of Arkansas, our industry is taking steps to ensure safe spaces during this time.
All visitors and residents should adhere to the following recognized healthy habits as directed by the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC).
- 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 for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. State Department
We will continue to post updates as they are available.
May 6, 2020 Update
The new Executive Order (E.O.) ended restrictions on out-of-state recreational travel effective May 5 and established a new, 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers from areas identified as “hot spots” by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in Executive Order 20-25.
These are the specifics that apply to the travel industry.
Hot Spots: ADH has identified specific areas as “hot spots” and implemented a 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers arriving from these locations. Current hot spots include:
- State of New York,
- State of New Jersey,
- State of Connecticut,
- City of New Orleans, and
- All International Travel
ADH will monitor reported COVID-19 cases throughout the nation and will update this list as necessary. Any updates will become the mandatory list under E.O. 20-25
- Quarantine Requirements: Individuals under quarantine must strictly limit their movements and remain in their place of lodging except to receive medical care. Specific directions have been provided by ADH here.
- Record Keeping: Lodging establishments are encouraged to maintain records of recent guest names and contact information to help support ADH’s contact tracing efforts in the event of potential links to COVID diagnoses.
- ABC Visits: Alcohol Beverage Control inspectors from the Department of Finance and Administration have been directed to end periodic visits to hotels and lodging establishments due to the new E.O.
April 30, 2020 Update
The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism wishes to share important information for people considering travel to the state in the near future. In an effort to further restrict the spread of COVID-19 in Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson has mandated new measures for commercial lodgings, short-term rentals and other lodging operations. Occupancy in such facilities will be limited to the following until further notice:
- Healthcare professionals:
- First responders:
- Law enforcement;
- State or federal employees on official business;
- National Guard members of active duty;
- Airline crew members;
- Patients of hospitals and their families;
- Persons unable to return to the home due to COVID-19 travel restrictions;
- Arkansas citizens unable to return home due to exigent circumstances such as fire, flood, tornado or other disasters;
- Persons in need of shelter due to domestic violence or homelessness;
- Employees of hotels, motels, or other service providers/contractors of a hotel/motel; and,
- Persons away from their home due to work or work-related travel
This directive will be lifted at such a time as deemed appropriate by the Arkansas Department of Health. Continue to check with Arkansas.com and our social media channels for updates.
Nothing in this directive shall prevent lodging operators from offering occupancy to any individual traveling through the state for work-related reasons and needing shelter, including those professions listed above and others that require frequent travel and over-night accommodations, such as truck drivers.
Nothing in this directive shall prevent lodging operators from offering occupancy to an Arkansas resident for reasons not addressed in the Executive Order. While in-state and out-of-state recreational travel is strongly discouraged for Arkansans at this time, circumstances may arise beyond the scope of those in the list above that necessitate Arkansans to seek overnight accommodations in commercial lodgings and short-term rentals.
March 19, 2020 Update
Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), today announced that ADPHT is instituting closings and/or limited access to some of its parks and museums in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 20.
Welcome Centers – Lobbies of the 13 Welcome Centers located around the state, which serve the traveling public, will close until further notice.
Heritage Museums – The Division of Arkansas Heritage’s Little Rock museums will close to the public until further notice. This includes Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.
Arkansas State Parks – Access to certain park facilities will be limited, effective March 20. Below is an overview; for detailed information visit ArkansasStateParks.com/Covid-19-Update.
“We believe the closing of welcome centers, heritage museums and some limiting of access and services at our parks is the best thing to do for our visitors and our staff,” said Secretary Hurst. “People can still come enjoy our beautiful state parks, where social distancing is achievable; but they can also get some great stress relief by hiking or biking our trails, enjoying our lakes, or just sitting still and taking in the great outdoors.”