The State of Montana is prioritizing the health and safety of citizens and visitors by closely monitoring COVID-19 and the rapidly changing public health situation. Visit Billings and the Billings Chamber of Commerce want to ensure visitors have the resources needed to make informed travel decisions. Currently, Montana Governor Steve Bullock is guiding Montana through Phase II of the Reopening the Big Sky Plan.
Under Phase II:
- Montana’s restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos are operating at 75% capacity
- Lodging businesses remain open.
- Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pool, and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity and only if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols.
- Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.
- All businesses are required to follow social distancing and sanitation guidelines, including hand washing and wearing masks in public places like grocery stores.
The Governor asks visitors to take precautions according to information and recommendations released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) and we encourage the traveling public to seek and heed the latest expert guidance from the CDC and WHO.
July 16, 2020:
Governor Bullock Issues a Statewide Mask Requirement in Public Spaces
Impacts Montana Counties with Four or More Active COVID-19 Cases
The provisions of the Directive apply only to counties in which there are four or more confirmed and active COVID-19 cases, and only during the time in which there are four or more active cases. However, Montanans in counties with three or fewer active cases are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.
Face Covering Requirement in Indoor Spaces Open to the Public All businesses, government offices, or other persons responsible for indoor spaces open to the public shall require and take reasonable measures to ensure that all employees, contractors, volunteers, customers, or other members of the public wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times while entering or remaining in any 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.”
Face Covering Requirements for Certain Organized Outdoor Activities
- For any organized outdoor activity where social distancing is not possible or is not observed, sponsors shall require and take reasonable measures to ensure that all persons attending an organized outdoor activity wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times.
- This section applies only where the nature of the organized outdoor activity makes it impracticable for all attendees to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from each other, or any organized outdoor activity where attendees are not observing at least six feet of physical distance from others.
- At all outdoor gatherings of 50 or more people, whether or not it constitutes an organized outdoor activities, all individuals except those excluded from this Directive are required to wear face coverings while in attendance where it is impracticable to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times, or whether attendees are not observing at least six feet of physical distance from others.
Businesses, government offices, other persons responsible for indoor spaces open to the public, and sponsors of organized outdoor activities are not required to ensure the following individuals wear face coverings:
- Children under the age of five. All children between the ages of two and four, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in accordance with the provisions of this Directive. Children under the age of two should not wear a face covering.
- Persons consuming food or drinks in an establishment that offers food or drinks for sale.
- Persons engaged in an activity that makes wearing a face covering impractical or unsafe such as strenuous physical exercise or swimming.
- Persons seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired.
- 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.
- Persons temporarily removing their face covering for identification purposes.
- Persons required to remove face coverings for the purpose of receiving medical evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment.
- Persons who have a medical condition precluding the safe wearing of a face covering.
June 26, 2020:
Please Know Before You Go:
- The health and safety of Montana citizens and Montana visitors is the top priority. While visiting our spectacular state please be prepared.
- Know the local public health guidelines before arriving at your destination.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Understand some services and destinations may be limited in Montana.
- Governor Steve Bullock is asking visitors to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 which means taking the same social distancing and sanitation precautions as Montanans.
- 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. As of June, all tribal lands remain closed to visitors. Refer to each tribal government website for real-time updates.
- Travelers can expect the Montana National Guard to 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 community snapshot 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 CDC recommends older adults or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions who are at risk for disease, should consider postponing nonessential travel.
The State Department has advised that U.S. citizens abroad should return home unless staying for an indefinite period and that international travel should be avoided.
For the latest international and national travel alerts, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Additional information can be found here.
May 21, 2020:
Governor Bullock has announced that Montana will move to Phase Two of the Reopening the Big Sky plan, and will lift 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, beginning Monday, June 1. The Phase Two Directive is available here.
Billings businesses are safe and open and ready to serve travelers. All businesses are required to follow the social distancing and sanitation guidelines established in Phase One, and Montanans are strongly encouraged to continue sanitation practices, including hand washing and wearing masks in public places like grocery stores. Revisit the step-by-step guide to the complete Phased Approach here.
Billings and Montana look forward to hosting out of state visitors!
Further details and updates can be found here.
April 24, 2020:
Governor Bullock’s plan to reopen Montana, including steps the State will be taking starting on Sunday, April 26, can be found here. The plan also details specific guidance for businesses and others to follow to keep Montanans safe and healthy.
April 9, 2020 :
Governor Steve Bullock’s Extension of Stay at Home Directive can be viewed here.
All Directives are available here, per Montana’s Governor.
March 27, 2020:
Governor Bullock has issued a stay-at-home directive for all Montanans effective Saturday, March 28 at 12:01 a.m. You can read more about the directive here.