Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Montana Coronavirus Closures & Restrictions

Updated 05/10/21

As of February 12, 2021, there is no statewide mask mandate in Montana, nor limits on business hours.

Masks, social distancing and good sanitation practices are still recommended throughout the state.

Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed into law a policy that county officials say prevents them from enforcing emergency public health restrictions, like mask mandates.

The law prohibits local governments from making businesses follow mandates that prevent them from offering goods or services to a customer. It also curbs local governments’ authority to issue fines for not following health orders.

The Gallatin City-County Board of Health decided against extending the county mask mandate and public gathering restrictions due to the new law. Health Officer Matt Kelley said it’s causing widespread confusion.

“It really makes it pretty impossible for local health officials to address the pandemic in a meaningful way through rules that affect businesses,” Kelley said.

Shortly after the policy became law, Health Officer Drenda Niemann announced Lewis and Clark County would no longer enforce its mask mandate, though she encouraged residents to continue wearing them indoors.

Niemann said businesses themselves can still require masks.

Gianforte also signed into law a separate policy preventing businesses and government agencies from denying people services or employment because of vaccination status. Hospital industry organizations oppose the law, saying it prevents them from maintaining a safe environment for vulnerable patients.

Statewide directives:

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.”

Local restrictions:

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

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 Indian Community: A stay-at-home order is in effect through June 1 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 includes a mask mandate and 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

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

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.

You can find daily COVID-19 updates from MTPR.

Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content