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What to Know About COVID-19 and Colorado Travel

We in Colorado are on a steady, thoughtful path to reopening our tourism economy. Gov. Jared Polis is weighing the latest public health guidance as he approves new plans allowing various business sectors to resume operations. Colorado is now in the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors Phase, which implements measures that will allow Coloradans and others to recreate in the great outdoors while maintaining a sustainable level of physical distancing.

Please be aware that anyone age 11 and older will be required to wear a face covering in Colorado's indoor public spaces, and some counties are now requiring use of face coverings in outdoor spaces when social distancing cannot be maintained. We encourage folks to check local mask requirements before traveling. 

With COVID infection rates spiking around the country and rising in Colorado, Governor Polis issued an Executive Order putting the new requirement into effect statewide. Please click here for details. 

Top public health officials in the U.S. and Colorado have identified masks as one of the most effective tools available to limit the spread of COVID-19. Many local jurisdictions already have implemented mask equirements to slow the spread of the virus. Tourism organizations and destinations statewide are joining in endorsing the move as well as a way of protecting jobs and the progress Colorado has made toward reopening its economy. 

We at the Colorado Tourism Office believe this order supports our industry and the tourism economy on many levels. It sets a consistent standard across the state, creating a clear message for both residents and travelers about compliance. It also mitigates risks to frontline workers and their families. We hope a clear statewide law makes it easier for all workers and businesses to request compliance from others. 

Communities may apply to qualify for the next phase of reopening, Protect Our Neighbors. Protect Our Neighbors means that communities that meet certain criteria have less stringent restrictions than under Stay-At-Home and Safer-At-Home. Communities may permit activities at 50 percent of pre-pandemic capacity, with at least 6 feet between non-household members, and no more than 500 people in one setting at a time. 

Industry partners are encouraged to check with local public health departments regarding how to qualify for the Protect Our Neighbors phase. 

Governor Polis has asked that as more of our state opens, all visitors respect the wishes, public health and capacity of our local destinations, whether in-state residents returning to their favorite getaways or out-of-state travelers discovering Colorado for the first time. As Colorado continues to take positive steps toward reactivating our economy, the health and safety of both visitors and residents remain our highest priority. As you visit Colorado, we encourage you to embrace our new interpretation of responsible tourism — showing care not only for our destinations but for our visitors and the people who call Colorado home. 

Colorado Welcome Centers are reopen. 

Air Travel
Colorado airports, including Denver International Airport, are open.

A range of lodging offerings is available statewide to accommodate travelers, including hotels and short-term rentals. Outdoor pools are open and can accommodate up to 50 percent of capacity. 

Dining & Restaurants
The CTO and Colorado Restaurant Association launched the inaugural Colorado Restaurant Bingo, a game that gives ordering ideas and is aimed at getting Coloradans dining at local restaurants, sharing their experiences and competing for weekly and grand prizes. Diners are encouraged to visit CORestaurantBingo.com to download a board, and then share their progress on Instagram with photos of their dining adventures. Marked squares posted on Instagram with a corresponding photo and the hashtag #CORestaurantBingo will be entered into a weekly drawing for $50 gift cards to any restaurant in the state, and more.  

All Colorado restaurants are allowed to provide dine-in service with social distancing and are encouraged to provide outdoor seating and service if possible. We recommend contacting restaurants directly to inquire about their services in advance, especially because seating may be limited. Click here to find out more about how Colorado restaurants will be operating under this new guidance. Many Colorado restaurants are serving food and alcohol for takeout or home delivery.

Outdoor Recreation
Colorado has millions of acres of accessible federal land, state parks, municipal parks, open space and other accessible areas that make physical distancing feel natural. Allow for social distancing in our great outdoor areas. Regardless of where you are while in public, take care to remain at least six feet from others not in your household, and wear non-medical facial coverings to protect others.

Guided services, including fishing, hiking, horseback riding and more, are allowed with groups up to 10 plus staff and guides. Tour providers including river outfitters, rafting and jeep tours can include members of up to two households. Recreators are encouraged to contact the guide or outfitter directly to learn more about its specific operations. 

While it's important to stick to the trails, be prepared to step off a trail onto a rock or a bare place to maintain physical distancing. Recreators can use COTREX for up-to-date information about 38,000 miles of Colorado trails, closures and activity alerts.

Parks & Camping
Colorado state parks are open, and both state and private campgrounds are open. Please refer to cpw.state.co.us for specific information about Colorado state parks. The National Park Service is phasing in the opening of Colorado’s four national parks and eight national monuments, and Rocky Mountain National Park is implementing a new timed-entry system. Before visiting, please consult this helpful state-by-state guide for all national parks here

Arts, Cultural & Tourism Attractions
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park reopened to the public along with The Denver Botanic Gardens, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the Ouray Via Ferrata and more. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Denver Zoo are open. Many tourism attractions, however, remain closed, including arts and cultural facilities, entertainment venues and sports arenas. Please check local listings before planning a visit and be aware that many communities require the wearing of facial coverings in stores and other enclosed environments.

Road Trips
We know many people are planning to jump in the family car to vacation this year. If that’s your plan, too, be aware that guidance for travelers may vary depending on what part of Colorado you are visiting. Decisions about reopening are being made every day, and several Colorado counties are going beyond the statewide guidance to reopen businesses with the consent of local authorities. Follow this link to search for local destination websites and find the latest information about places to go and stay in Colorado: https://www.colorado.com/official-colorado-travel-resources. And be sure to consult our Colo-Road Trips microsite for more than 200 online itineraries to destinations across Colorado and our new Scenic & Historic Byways microsite for guidance to traveling our 26 byways.

To stay on top of the latest conditions, we recommend keeping your plans fluid, researching county and destination websites before and as you travel, and becoming familiar with reservation cancellation policies. You can also call 1-800-COLORADO to speak to someone directly.

We ask you to honor the sacrifices so many in our state are making to fend off the impacts of coronavirus and respect the City, County and State restrictions in order to create a safe atmosphere for everyone to enjoy Colorado. If you are running a fever or showing any symptoms of coronavirus, please stay home or self-isolate. If we all do our part, we can all make the most of a beautiful Colorado summer season.

For more information please refer to the following sites:

Help support Coloradans impacted by COVID-19. To learn more, please visit HelpColoradoNow.org.

For the latest travel alerts and warnings, visit the CDC webpage, Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel.

Official State of Colorado COVID-19 Info: https://covid19.colorado.gov/