Mask up if you are planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Last week, Tennessee Governor Lee enacted an executive order giving 89 counties the authority to mandate mask requirements. That order included Sevier County - home to popular tourist hot spots, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The county has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases over the last several weeks and as of today, July 7, 2020 there have been 857 confirmed cases, according to a release from the Sevier County Health Department.

Now, the mayor of Siever County, Larry Waters has issued a "Declaration of Face Covering Requirement" mandating that people wear a mask while in public, indoor spaces beginning on Friday, July 10, 2020. The Pigeon Forge tourism website offers a little more insight,

Masks are required in indoor areas and businesses throughout Sevier County effective July 10 through August 3. Governor Bill Lee's Executive Order 54 extended the authority to make decisions on mask policies to County Mayors. Sevier County's decision to require masks is a result of increased cases seen throughout the county.

At this time, Tennessee is still under a State of Emergency as declared by Governor Lee through August 29, 2020.

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are popular destinations, particularly for those of us here in the Tri-state. It's just a short drive and an easy trip. If you plan to visit during the pandemic, be sure you visit the tourism site to see frequently asked questions and to find out what businesses and attractions are open before you go.

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