COVID-19 Information

Prepare for re-entry! 🚀

Lowell Observatory is now open for General Admission with new guest protocols for COVID-19.

COVID-19 and General Admission

Test negative* for COVID-19 within 72 hours of visit.
(Ages 12+)
*Lab tests only.

Vaccination accepted in lieu of negative test.
(Ages 12+)

Young children wear masks when indoors.
(Ages 2-11)

Negative test not required for young children.
(Ages 2-11)

Phase 3A

General Admission is back, with new protocols to keep guests and staff safe from COVID-19. We will move to Phase 3B—unrestricted General Admission—as soon as the level of community spread permits it.

See our reopening plan.

Health & Safety FAQs

As of November 15, 2021, Lowell Observatory has begun requiring guests aged 12 and over to show results from a negative COVID-19 lab test within 72 hours of visiting the observatory, or they can provide proof of full vaccination in lieu of a negative test.

What qualifies as documentation of a negative COVID-19 test?
Proof of a negative test can be provided in the form of a photo, text, email, or printed copy of negative test results with your name and date of testing clearly visible. Results must be from an official COVID-19 testing site or laboratory.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in Flagstaff?
Click here for a list of official COVID-19 testing sites in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Will you accept COVID-19 home tests?
No, only results from tests performed at an official COVID-19 testing site will be accepted. 

Will you accept COVID-19 antibody tests as proof of immunity?
A positive antibody test indicates evidence of a previous infection, but you can get reinfected if you’ve already had COVID-19, per the CDC. Because of this, we do not accept a positive antibody test in lieu of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of visiting the observatory.

I don’t have enough time to get test results before my planned visit. Will I be allowed entry?
General Admission tickets are good for 6 months beyond the anticipated visit date shown on your ticket. If you are still unable to visit the observatory due to this policy, you can cancel your ticket via the link in your confirmation email. For assistance rescheduling, please email us at bookings@lowell.edu or call the Visitor Center at 928-774-3358.  

Lowell Observatory requires guests aged 12 and over to show results from a negative COVID-19 lab test within 72 hours of visiting the observatory, or they can provide proof of full vaccination in lieu of a negative test.

What does “fully vaccinated” mean?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are delivered in a series of two shots, so a person is fully vaccinated 2 weeks (14 days) after the date of their second shot. If someone has only had one Pfizer or Moderna vaccine shot, they are not fully vaccinated, no matter how long it has been.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is delivered in a single shot, so a person is fully vaccinated 2 weeks (14 days) after the date of their one shot.

What kind of proof of vaccination do you require?
Proof of vaccination status can be provided in the form of:

  • A CDC-issued COVID-19 vaccine card with all spaces filled (laminated accepted)
  • A photocopy or electronic photo of a CDC-issued COVID-19 vaccine card
  • A personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record (on a website or mobile app) issued by a state, local, or foreign governmental jurisdiction

What do I do if I am fully vaccinated but don’t have my CDC card with me?
If you do not have a physical or digital copy of your vaccine card with you, we encourage you to get tested at a verified COVID-19 testing site and come back within 72 hours of receiving a negative result. 

Will the observatory require a third COVID-19 shot (booster shot)?
Booster shots are not required for people to be considered fully vaccinated, but the CDC is recommending them for some high-risk individuals (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html). The observatory has no plans to require proof of a booster shot at this time.

My young child can’t get vaccinated. Will they be able to enter?
Yes. Vaccinations for children aged 11 and under have not yet been made available, so we ask that all children aged 2–11 wear a mask whenever they are indoors during their visit.

What is the vaccination policy for observatory staff?
Every member of Lowell Observatory’s staff is fully vaccinated.

Masks are no longer required outside at Lowell Observatory, but the CDC currently recommends people to wear masks indoors in areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission, according to this chart: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view|Arizona|4005|Risk|community_transmission_level.

When are masks required to be worn at Lowell Observatory?
We require that all vaccinated and unvaccinated guests above the age of 2 years wear masks covering the nose and mouth while they are inside the Steele Visitor Center lobby or the Starry Skies Shop. Children aged 2–11 need to mask up whenever indoors.

What kind of mask can I wear?
Your face mask must completely cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly on your face. If you do not have a mask that meets our requirements, a disposable one will be provided for you. We also carry CDC-compliant face masks for purchase in the Starry Skies Shop.

I’m fully vaccinated. Do I still have to wear a mask?
Masks are required in the Steele Visitors Center and the Starr Skies Gift Shop. Once guests have checked in and gone through the visitors center, guests 12+ may remove their masks throughout the rest of the campus. Guests 12+ who have provided proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination will be encouraged—but not required—to wear masks inside most of our indoor spaces, including telescope domes.

What if I have a health condition that prevents me from wearing a mask?
If you cannot wear a mask when indoors, you may wish to visit the observatory at another time. The health and safety of our staff and guests is our number one priority, so we are not making exceptions for our limited masking requirements.

Do I still need to practice physical distancing during my visit?
At this time, the observatory no longer requires guests to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet (2 meters) from each other. However, please respect the personal space of others, and note that some people may not feel as comfortable in tight spaces.

How often and where can I wash or sanitize my hands?
We encourage guests to wash and sanitize their hands regularly during their visit. Antibacterial hand soap is available in our restrooms, and hand sanitizer dispensers are located throughout our campus. Please ask one of our staff if you are having trouble locating one.

What is the observatory doing to keep surfaces clean?
Our Visitor Experience Associates continue to employ increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures in our bathrooms and high-touch areas like doors, countertops, and card-readers.

How long is my General Admission ticket good to use?
General Admission tickets can be booked at any time prior to your date of visit and remain valid for six months beyond the anticipated visit date shown on your ticket. If at any point during this period you decide that you would like to cancel your visit, you can do so by reaching out to bookings@lowell.edu or calling the Visitor Center at 928-774-3358.  

Guest Agreement for Phase 3A

Explore General Admission
  • I will not come to Lowell Observatory if I feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
  • I and each person in my party aged 12 and above will show documentation of testing from an accredited laboratory showing negative COVID-19 results within 72 hours of entry to the observatory OR valid proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (CDC card, photo of CDC card or a government-approved mobile app).
  • I and each person in my party will wear masks covering the nose and mouth whenever inside the Steele Visitor Center lobby and the Starry Skies Shop.
  • I will ensure that each person in my party aged 2-11 will wear a mask whenever they are indoors during their visit.
  • I understand that my general admission ticket is valid for entry on one day within six months of the event date shown on my ticket, until redeemed on site. I agree that after I redeem my ticket, I may not be refunded due to inclement weather.