By Dawn Davis for the Island Eye News
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities, Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site are increasing recreational access.
The National Park Service is working with federal, state and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
On May 28, Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie NHP and Charles Pinckney NHS opened access to:
- Fort Moultrie Visitor Center parking lot (half capacity), portable restrooms, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Fort Moultrie dock, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Charles Pinckney NHS parking lot, grounds and restrooms, Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition, the following spaces continue to be available:
- Liberty Square Visitor Education Center grounds;
- Fort Moultrie grounds outside of the fort.
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed to the public:
- Fort Sumter, including boat tours;
- Liberty Square Visitor Education Center;
- Fort Moultrie and Battery Jasper interiors;
- Fort Moultrie Visitor Center and restrooms;
- Historic house at Charles Pinckney NHS.
Park entrance fees at Fort Moultrie will be waived until the fort is reopened for tours.
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers and partners continues to be paramount,” stated Superintendent Tracy Stakely.
“By following CDC public health guidelines, we are working to ensure visitors and staff can remain safe. We encourage park users to visit responsibly, take all necessary precautions and follow established guidance to help us keep our parks safe. We look forward to seeing our visitors again.”
At Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie NHP and Charles Pinckney NHS, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. The public should follow local area health orders, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
To learn more, visit www.nps.gov/fosu, www.nps.gov/chpi or www.nps.gov/coronavirus.