Montana Coronavirus Closures, Restrictions And Exemptions
As of February 12, 2021, there is no statewide mask mandate in Montana, nor limits on business hours. However, more restrictive rules are in place in some localities.
Masks, social distancing and good sanitation practices are still recommended throughout the state.
Mask mandates remain in effect in the following localities:
- Blackfeet Reservation
- Big Horn County
- Fort Belknap Reservation
- Fort Peck Reservation
- Gallatin County
- Lewis And Clark County
- Madison County
- Missoula County
- Park County
- Powell County
- Rocky Boy's Reservation
- Silver Bow County
Gatherings: “Any public gatherings or events should be managed in a way that accommodates CDC social distancing guidelines.” This removes all previous capacity limits.
Businesses: Businesses no longer have restrictions on their capacities or hours. Per the new guidelines, they “… should make reasonable efforts to develop and implement appropriate policies based on industry best practices during this emergency.” If there are no industry best practices, Gianforte’s directive points owners and managers towards “… federal, state, and local regulations and guidance …”
Schools: “Schools should make reasonable efforts to follow industry standards best practices recommended by the Center for Disease Control, the Office of Public Instruction.”
Cascade County: As of Jan. 22, most businesses are required to close no later than 12:30 a.m., and are limited to 75% occupancy. Public gatherings of up to 50 are allowed. Groups larger than that must seek approval from the county health department. These limits will remain in place until the per capita spread of the virus is 25 per 100,000 for four consecutive weeks. Masks are not required, but are encouraged. More info
Crow Reservation: Residents are required "to stay near their place of residence as much as possible and maintain social distance." Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned if social distancing cannot be maintained. Facemasks are required and a reservation-wide curfew is in place from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily. The tribe's Facebook page posts the latest COVID-19 government updates.
Fort Belknap Reservation: A stay-at-home order is in effect through Feb. 18 on the Fort Belknap reservation. There's also a curfew in place between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Masks are mandatory and hunting and fishing a limited to tribal members living on the reservation. More info
Fort Peck Reservation: The Fort Peck and Assiniboine Tribes on September 29 returned to phase 1. That puts non-essential employees, residents and businesses under stay-at-home orders on the Fort Peck reservation and limits gatherings to 10 people or fewer. More info
Gallatin County: Masks are required in Gallatin County. Most businesses are limited to 50% capacity, but may now stay open until 2 a.m. Group gatherings are limited to 25 people, with the exception of churches, government offices, schools and school sporting events. Businesses and government offices must adhere to strict social distancing and sanitation practices. More info
Lewis and Clark County: A mask mandate is in effect in Lewis and Clark County. Most gatherings are restricted to 250 people or fewer without health department approval. Most businesses are limited to 50% capacity and must follow strict social distancing and sanitation practices. Most businesses must close by midnight. More info
Missoula County: A mask mandate is in effect in Missoula County. With some exceptions, group sizes are limited to no more than 25 people. Businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity and must practice social distancing and sanitation protocols. Bars and restaurants must end alcohol service at 10 p.m. Residents are also asked to stay home as much as possible. More info
Northern Cheyenne Reservation: Residents are advised to avoid nonessential daytime travel during the week. A curfew from 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. is in effect. No restrictions on business operating hours are in place. Masks, social distancing and good hygine practices are encouraged. Bureau of Indian Affairs police are enforcing the curfew. More info
Rocky Boy's Reservation: The Chippewa Cree Tribe has a mask mandate and a stay-at-home order in effect, as well as a 10 p.m. curfew. Gatherings are limited to 50 people. Business capacity and hours are limited. More info
Silver Bow County: Masks are required in Silver Bow County. Most businesses are imited to 50 percent capacity and must practice strict distancing and sanitation protocols. Events and gatherings of over 250 people must be reviewed in advance by the health department. Alcohol service at bars and restaurants must stop at 10 p.m. More info
Yellowstone County: As of January 7, 2021, Yellowstone County has rescinded all local COVID-19 guidelines.
National Forest lands remain open, but some services may be limited.
“At this time, the Forest Service continues to remain open and operational, and we are committed to the continuity of our mission. Our primary delivery of public service will occur through virtual means (ie. telephone and online service).”
The agency also has a COVID-19 FAQ.
National parks in Montana are following individualized plans, and visitors should come prepared to follow all CDC and local health guidance.
People are asked to follow good hygiene and to social distance. Face coverings are recommended where social distancing is not possible. People who are sick should stay home and not visit the park.
The CDC has provided specific guidance on visiting parks and recreational facilities.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks offices and visitor centers opened June 3 in accordance with Phase 2 of Montana's phased reopening. As explained in a Facebook post:
"FWP offices have been closed since late March due to Montana’s COVID-19 pandemic response. As the public returns, strict adherence to Phase 2 guidelines will be critical: stay at home if you feel sick, make sure to frequently wash and sanitize your hands, and maintain at least six feet of distance from other people.
FWP front offices around the state will be set up to help facilitate these simple guidelines, including marking floors to help keep people spaced out, providing hand sanitizer for customers, and glass dividers between front counter staff and customers.
Please note that many FWP employees are still working remotely, so for business beyond front desk license purchases and other related information, please plan to reach out to the appropriate staff member directly by phone or email or ask front desk staff for contact information."
FWP posts continues to post updates on its "COVID-19 Response and Update" page.
Montana’s COVID-19 website is a regularly updated source for the Montana COVID-19 information.