COVID-19 Information

Explore Responsibly at Montana’s Trailhead.

Montana Aware is statewide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 by promoting safety measures for those traveling in the state. Visit Billings is committed to protecting the health of residents and visitors, and asks that you do the same.

What we are doing and what we are asking you to do: 

If you’re planning to travel through Montana, please:

  • Know the local public health guidelines before arriving to Billings or Yellowstone County or any other Montana community
  • Understand some services may be limited
  • Please stay home if you are not feeling well
 

In Montana, it’s important to:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Maintain social distance (at least 6 ft. apart.)
  • Wash your hands & use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover coughs & sneezes.


Ways to Explore Responsibly:

  • Plan Ahead
    • Check for closures or limited services before arriving (scroll down for details).
    • Pack masks and sanitizer.
    • Have a backup plan in case a destination is too crowded.
  • Keep Space
    • Keep six feet away from others.
    • In crowded spaces, indoors or out, please wear a mask.
    • Explore with your family or household and avoid big groups.
  • Be Respectful
    • Respect guidelines to help keep yourself and others healthy.
    • Respect the land and help preserve our natural wonders for everyone to enjoy.
    • Respect people and local communities by helping protect public health.
  • Protect the Outdoors
    • When giving people space, watch where you step and stay close to the trail.
    • Pack up any trash and minimize your impact.
    • Keep a safe distance from wildlife, too.
 
For more information about the Montana Aware program, go to VISITMT.COM.

 

COVID-19 Directives for the State of Montana including Yellowstone County (Billings):
 

Executive Order 2-2021 declares that a state of emergency exists in Montana due to the global outbreak of COVID-19.

Per Montana Governor Gianforte, individual responsibility remains Montana’s best tool to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In consultation with public health experts, healthcare providers, business leaders, and emergency management professionals, and relying on scientific evidence and data, the Montana Governor directs the following measures to be in place as of January 15, 2021:

PUBLIC GATHERINGS

Any public gatherings or events should be managed in a way that accommodates CDC social distancing guidelines.

BUSINESSES

Businesses face diverse challenges in this emergency and need flexibility to serve their customers in a healthful environment. Therefore, businesses should make reasonable efforts to develop and implement appropriate policies based on industry best practices during this emergency.

Where no such industry practices exist, such policies should be developed and implemented in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance regarding:

  1. Social distancing;
  2. Temperature checks and/or symptom screening;
  3. Testing, isolating, and contact tracing, in collaboration with public health authorities;
  4. Sanitation;
  5. Use of disinfection of common and high-traffic areas;
  6. Teleworking.
GENERAL MASKING REQUIREMENTS

A statewide mask mandate remains in effect, as follows:

1. A face covering that covers the mouth and nose shall be worn at all times in indoor spaces open to the public. Face coverings shall be provided for all employees and volunteers. All points of entry open to the public shall have a clearly visible sign posted stating: “Mask or face covering use required for ages five and older.”

2. For any organized outdoor activity where social distancing is not possible or is not observed, a face covering that covers the mouth and nose shall be worn at all times.

3. The following are excluded from the Directive:

  • a. children under the age of five.
  • b. persons consuming food or drinks in an establishment that offers food or drinks for sale;
  • c. persons engaged in an activity that makes wearing a face covering impractical or unsafe, such as strenuous physical exercise or swimming;
  • d. persons seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired;
  • e. persons giving a speech or engaging in an artistic, cultural, musical, or theatrical performance for an audience, provided the audience is separated by at least six feet of distance;
  • f. persons temporarily removing their face covering for identification purposes;
  • g. persons required to remove face coverings for the purpose of receiving medical
  • evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment; and
  • h. persons who have a medical condition precluding the safe wearing of a face covering.

4. Accommodation must be made for those entitled under federal and state disability protections, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Montana Human Rights Act, labor laws, or other applicable law.

5. Businesses, other persons responsible for indoor spaces open to the public, and sponsors of organized outdoor activities are entitled to reasonably rely in good faith on the representations of employees, volunteers, contractors, customers, visitors, or members of the public regarding the applicability of the exceptions in section 3 above. Reasonable, good faith reliance on such representations is an affirmative and complete defense to any enforcement proceedings brought pursuant to this Directive.

Applicability: In the interest of uniformity of laws and to prevent the spread of disease, all inconsistent local government health ordinances or orders are preempted by this Directive, but only to the extent they are less restrictive.

Authorities: Sections 10-3-104, -103, -302, and -305, MCA; §§ 50-1-202, -101, -203, and -204, MCA; Executive Order 2-2021; Montana Constitution, Art. VI, Sections 4 and 13; and all other applicable provisions of state and federal law.

LIMITATIONS:

This Directive becomes effective at 5 a.m. on January 15, 2021, and expires at the end of the declared state of emergency in Executive Order 2-2021.

This Directive shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

If any provision of this Directive or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Directive, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Directive are declared to be severable.

Nothing in this Directive shall be construed to limit, modify, or otherwise affect the authority granted by law to the Governor or any department, agency, political subdivision, officer, agent, or employee of the State of Montana, except as provided in this Directive or other Directives now in effect implementing Executive Order 2-2021.


This Directive is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the State of Montana, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

MORE INFORMATION:

The Governor’s directive ends any previous regulations on Montana businesses, including restrictions on hours of operation and capacity for restaurants and bars.

Where industry best practices do not exist, the Governor’s directive states that “such policies should be developed and implemented in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance.”

The full order is available here: https://governor.mt.gov/_docs/Directiveon22021.pdf.

Additional details are available here: https://dphhs.mt.gov/aboutus/news/2020/gianforteliftsrestrictionsonsmallbusinesses#:~:text=The%20governor's%20directive%20repeals%20onerous,while%20keeping%20their%20doors%20open.