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.
A new Montana law signed by the governor on May 7, 2021 prohibits local governments from taking certain actions — such as those taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — that would affect the bottom line for businesses. As a result of the new law, both Lewis and Clark and Gallatin counties said they could no longer enforce mask mandates.
Gallatin County health officer Matt Kelly says the law will make it "pretty impossible for local health officials to address the pandemic in a meaningful way through rules that affect businesses."
Mask mandates in effect prior to the May 7 law:
- Big Horn County
- Fort Belknap Reservation
- Fort Peck Reservation
- Gallatin County
- Hill County
- Lake County
- Lewis And Clark County
- Madison County
- Missoula County
- Park County
- Powell County
- Rocky Boy's Reservation
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.”
Blackfeet Reservation: The Blackfeet Nation has entered the "New Normal" phase of its reopening plan. Businesses are allowed to operate at 75% capacity. Gatherings of more than 50 people must have a plan following COVID guidelines and be approved by the committee including the Safety Officer, Tribal Public Health, Incident Commander. Masks are encouraged in all public places. Residents are encouraged to continue social distancing and hygine best practices, and to reconsider travel to areas experiencing outbreaks. More info
Choteau County: According to the county health deparment, "Residents are encouraged to continue wearing masks indoors and outdoors when social distancing is not possible ... Chouteau County businesses will be supported in their efforts to adopt the mask policy they feel best protects their employees and customers. Chouteau County Health Department will continue to require masks in their building under all circumstances until the new cases of Covid 19 in the county remain under 2 new cases/week for two months or until 51% of the County residents are fully vaccinated. The Chouteau County Health Department will continue to support local businesses in their attempts to keep the community safe by providing guidance, education and information as requested." More info
Cascade County: As of March 17, Cascade County has lifted its mask mandate and group size restrictions on events and gatherings.
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 a maximum of 150 for indoor events and up to 250 for outdoor events if certain physical distancing measures can be maintained. Participants at indoor events with more than 50 people are required to be seated at tables that are at least six feet apart with no more than six people per tablem, 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: Lewis and Clark County will lift all COVID-19 related restrictions, except its mask mandate, effective March 12, 2021.
Missoula County: A mask mandate is in effect in Missoula County. With some exceptions, masks are also required for outdoor groups and events of 50 people or more. As of April 1, county health officials have lifted group size restrictions for events. Health officials say event organizers still need to ensure that social distancing and masking take place at their events. 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: As of March 24, 2021, Butte-Silver Bow County has rescinded all local COVID-19 guidelines.
Yellowstone County: As of January 7, 2021, Yellowstone County has rescinded all local COVID-19 guidelines.
Federal Lands including national forests, national parks & BLM lands: Masks are required in federal buildings and facilities. On federal lands, masks are required where social distancing is not possible.
The U.S. Forest Service has a COVID-19 FAQ.
The CDC has provided specific guidance on visiting parks and recreational facilities.
State lands and state parks: Masks are required in some state buildings and encouraged on state landsd when social distancing isn't possible.
FWP posts 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.