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COVID-19 FAQ: Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

We know our visitors have lots of questions regarding the reopening of many Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg businesses, rescheduled events, and specific protocols from the state of Tennessee, individual cities in the Smokies, and individual businesses within those cities. Here is a list of frequently asked questions with the information that we have available. We will update this list with additional questions and answers as we receive them. If you have a question, send us a message on Facebook. Find our full list of business reopenings and updates here.


Do I have to wear a mask?

  • Masks are required in indoor areas and businesses throughout Sevier County effective July 10 through September 30. 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.

What if I have a medical issue and am not able to wear a mask?

  • According to Executive Order No. 23 by Mayor Larry Waters, there are exceptions to the mask policy. Masks will not be required in the following situations:
    1. Within your own residence or motor vehicle, hotel or motel room or overnight rental
    2. By children age 12 years or younger
    3. By individuals with trouble breathing due to a bona fide medical or health related reason
    4. By someone who is incapacitated or unable to remove the face covering on their own
    5. By individuals with disabilities or conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering
    6. While eating or drinking
    7. In outdoor spaces
    8. While participating in indoor athletic events or indoor exercise
    9. While working at a location where social distancing is possible
    10. Where a face mask poses a safety or security risk
    11. While in a house of worship
    12. The Sevier County School System is exempt and will operate under its own plan
  • Please note: Individual businesses have the authority to hold stricter mask policies. This means that they may request you wear them in outdoor spaces (Example: Dollywood) or other situations.

Please take time to review Executive Order 23 in full if you are concerned or have questions about the mask policy. This order outlines the reasons a mask policy is in place and further explains the above exemptions. Please note, Executive Order 34 extended the mask policy through September 30.


Is Tennessee in a state of emergency?

  • On August 28, 2020 Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order to extend the state of emergency through September 30, 2020. Find all the details of the order here.

Will I have to get my temperature taken?

  • At this time, many restaurants, attractions and shops are using contactless temperature taking devices to screen visitors. At these locations, visitors with a temperature will not be allowed to enter.

What businesses are open? What businesses are closed? What events have been cancelled?


Are restaurants still offering takeout?

  • To accommodate visitors, many restaurants are still offering takeout food and drinks. This will often be stated on their website or Facebook pages for your convenience. Find more information on open restaurants here.

How has COVID-19 affected the national park? Have all trails reopened?

  • You can find a list of open roads, trails, campgrounds, and visitor centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the National Park Service website. Check back frequently for updates.

Is Dollywood open?

  • Dollywood is open with specific regulations and safety measures in place. An overview of these new procedures is as follows:
    • Daily capacity for the park is limited. Season Passholders are no longer required to make reservations for the park, but they are still required to for Splash Country. Date-based tickets are available for general admission and remain valid for 5 days following the original date should your plans change.
    • Masks or face coverings are required for all visitors ages 3 and up, with some exceptions such as while eating, on water park attractions or select roller coasters. Find a full list of exceptions here.
    • Temperature screenings will be taken prior to entry.
    • Attraction and dining capacities will be limited to allow guests to have more space to move around during their visit.
    • Physical distancing measures have been put in place including physically distanced queues, marked barriers and social distancing reminders.
    • Additional sanitation measures have been implemented including high touch point areas being cleaned more frequently and providing additional hand sanitizing locations.
    • Find Dollywood's full FAQ regarding their reopening here.

Will all rides be open at Dollywood?

  • According to Dollywood, a majority of the attractions and experiences within the parks are scheduled to open. Select experiences will not be available during this phase, and some queue experiences may be slightly altered as they implement their new procedures.
  • Find Dollywood's full FAQ regarding their reopening here.

Is the Fall Rod Run cancelled?

  • As of right now, the Fall Rod Run is still scheduled to take place September 17-19, 2020.

How has COVID-19 affected the trolleys?

  • Pigeon Forge Trolleys:
    • Pigeon Forge Mass Transit resumed operation on Thursday, May 21, on a modified schedule from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Three routes will be available: North/South Parkway, Wears Valley and Gatlinburg Welcome Center. Please note, as we begin this modified service, there could be longer delays between stops.
    • For questions regarding trolley schedules or routes please contact the Trolley Office at (865) 453-6444.
  • Gatlinburg Trolleys:
    • With modified routes and health precautions in place, the Gatlinburg Trolley resumed its services on Friday, May 22.
    • Gatlinburg Trolleys will operate with a pair of expanded routes from 10:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily. Two Trolleys will run each route as each vehicle will be limited to 12 passengers, to help maintain social distancing. For the health and safety of all individuals, and to keep the limit to 12 passengers, seating will be limited to every other seat and no one will be allowed to stand.
    • One route will operate from the Spur Welcome Center to the Transit Center at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, then servicing River Road to the Ski Mountain Trolley Shelter, before returning to the Parkway traveling past Traffic Light No. 10 and then back to the Transit Center, then returning to the Spur Welcome Center.
    • The other route will travel from The Park Vista to Cherokee Orchard Road, accessing Parkway at Traffic Light No. 3. The route continues onto Highway 321 to the Gatlinburg Community Center, before returning to the downtown area, where it visits the Transit Center at the Aquarium, then returns to the Parkway, where it goes to Traffic Light No. 8 and then completes the route at The Park Vista.
    • Gatlinburg Trolleys will temporarily operate without fares or fees being collected, in order to prevent person-to-person contact.
    • A number of health and safety measures are being implemented with the resumption of the Gatlinburg Trolley services. Signage will be added to each Trolley outlining CDC recommendations on helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Trolley drivers and passengers will be required to wear masks. Drivers will be issued hand sanitizers, gloves and sanitizing agents. Drivers have also been instructed on best practices to sanitize the Trolleys, including wiping seats, handles and common areas as often as possible. Maintenance personnel will also be using a fogging machine to spray disinfectant throughout the Trolleys daily.

Once again, if you have a question that wasn't answered here, feel free to send us a message on Facebook. We will continue to update this list with your questions and any information we have regarding the answer.