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ST. LOUIS – Masks will once again be required for all visitors and staff at the Gateway Arch starting Tuesday, Dec. 27.

The mandate is at the behest of the National Parks Service, which bases its masking guidelines on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Community Levels tool. According to the CDC, both St. Louis City and County are classified as “High” because of a surge in COVID-19 among the populace.

Under these guidelines, anyone entering the park must wear “a surgical mask, procedure mask, an internationally approved device (e.g., KN95s and KF94s) or respirator.”

Cloth masks and other face coverings such as gaiters do not qualify. Free masks will be available to visitors at the Arch Information Desk.

Arch visitors can only enter the monument via the new west entrance at Fourth Street and the Old Courthouse. The Arch legs are now exits only.

The park reopened Monday after closing for Christmas Day.

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