Another sign that travel and tourism may be reopening as COVD-19 declines is the announcement made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Thursday that church historic sites will reopen.
“The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approved the phased reopening of Church historic sites in May 2021,” a church statement said. “These sites closed last spring due to COVID-19.”
“We’re thrilled that the church’s historic sites will be open to visitors this summer,” said Church Historian and Recorder Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy. “We know people are anxious to visit and the missionaries are eager to welcome them. Visiting the sites is a great way for individuals and families to enhance their understanding of church history. Walking the paths and streets where the early saints walked, and visiting their homes and shops provides an immersive experience with the past. We hope in this year of ‘Come, Follow Me’ study of the Doctrine and Covenants and church history, many people will have an opportunity to visit the sites, either in person or via a virtual tour. We are prepared to welcome them.”
The health and safety of all guests will be a top priority, according to the church statement. At some sites, reservations will be required (groups of more than 20 will not be allowed in 2021), and visitors are encouraged to register in advance. Sites also will limit the number of people allowed in buildings at one time.
Visitors will be required to practice social distancing and wear face masks indoors, and outdoors where social distancing is not possible. Those who are sick are advised to stay home.
Most sites will have reduced operating hours, and some buildings or experiences may be closed. Sites may need to close again based on local conditions and regulations. Visitors are encouraged to check historic website and Facebook pages frequently for the latest information and guidance.
The sites listed below will reopen based on local conditions, government guidelines and missionary staffing availability. Because each historic site is unique, reopening conditions will vary. More details can be found on each site’s web page. Visit http://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-historic-sites-begin-reopening.
The reopening schedule will tentatively proceed as follows:
• Mormon Battalion Center at San Diego
• Carthage Jail
• Historic Nauvoo
• Kanesville Tabernacle
• Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters
• Brigham Young Winter Home and Office
• Hamblin Home
• St. George Tabernacle
May 28New York
• Grandin Building: Book of Mormon Publication Site
• Hill Cumorah
• Sacred Grove
• Whitmer Farm: Church Organization Site
• Independence Visitors’ Center
• Liberty Jail
• Historic Kirtland
• Johnson Home
• Morley Farm
• Priesthood Restoration Site
• Cove Fort
• Joseph Smith Birthplace
• Martin’s Cove: Mormon Trail Site
• Sixth Crossing: Mormon Trail Site