Havasupai Tribe extends tourism closure until further notice


A small northern Arizona reservation known for its blue-green waterfalls will remain closed to tourists until further notice.

The Havasupai Tribe passed a resolution on Tuesday May 5 to extend the closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In early April, the tribe originally voted to extend their closure until mid-May.

Tourists with reservations during the time of the suspension will be contacted to have their trip rescheduled for dates within 2021, the tribe said. The tribe prohibits any reimbursement of fees paid by tourists to the tribe.

About 40,000 people visit the tribe’s land annually.

The tribe’s reservation is deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon, accessible only by foot, mule or helicopter. It is home to about 450 people who have been instructed to stay at home, except to get essential items.

The tribe has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, the tribal council has declared a state of emergency, restricted all travel in and out of the reservation, enacted a stay-at-home and mandatory quarantine order for all residents, and locked down the reservation.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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