aspen_banner.jpg
Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Havasupai Tribe extends tourism ban until June amid continued COVID-19 concerns

Havasupai falls
AP Photo/Bob Daugherty, File
/
This 1997 file photo shows one of five waterfalls on Havasu Creek as its waters tumble 210 feet on the Havasupai Tribe's reservation. The tribe's council has extended their suspension on tourism until June 1, 2022 because of ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

The Havasupai Tribal Council has extended its suspension of tourism until June 1, 2022 because of the ongoing health threats of COVID-19.

The Havasupai reservation has been on lockdown throughout the pandemic and officials say it’ll remain off-limits to visitors for the foreseeable future.

Renewing the tourism ban, according to leaders, is being done out of an abundance of caution and to protect tribal members.

Havasupai officials have been actively vaccinating residents and are consulting with health experts. But Chairman Thomas Siyuja Jr. says because of unknown factors about the COVID and new variants the reservation will stay closed.

Tourists with reservations during the suspension that haven’t been rebooked are being rescheduled for the same date in 2023, and no further reservations will be taken for 2022.

The tribe’s tourism ban has been in place since March 2020 and has now been renewed four times.