Visiting Ruidoso During the Pandemic

**OCTOBER 18, 2021 UPDATE**

New Mexico has extended the indoor mask mandate for another month. Currently, the order requires everyone, ages 2+, to wear masks indoors until November 12. New Mexico is one of many states who are currently implementing indoor mask mandates, including Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Illinois, and Louisiana, along with several other local governments.


A spokesperson for the governor shared on Tuesday, September 14th, that the current indoor mask requirement will be extended through mid-October. The mandate states that everyone ages 2 and older, whether vaccinated or not, are required to wear facial coverings while in indoor spaces in New Mexico. Officials extended the mandate without any “substantive changes” planned.

**AUGUST 20, 2021 UPDATE**

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has temporarily reinstated mandatory mask wearing in indoor locations due to a rising number of New Mexico COVID-19 cases.

Starting Friday, August 20, through September 19, everyone 2 and older is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, while in public, indoor locations in the state of New Mexico, except with actively eating or drinking.

Find more information about current guidance here and watch Governor Grisham’s press conference announcement on Facebook detailing the new mandates here.

**JUNE 21, 2021 UPDATE**

New Mexico Department of Health has set “opening day” for July 1st. All COVID restrictions and color-coded systems will be retired at this point.

Lincoln County is currently under turquoise restrictions, deemed a low risk level in the New Mexico Department of Health reopening framework. The Turquoise Level distinction allows the least amount of restrictions on local activities and businesses within the four colored framework levels.

STATE RESTRICTIONS: New Mexico counties adopted a modified red-to-turquoise tiered system to address COVID-19 under Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s latest response plan on February 24th, adding the least restrictive turquoise tier for low risk counties and further adjusting the plan at the end of April to account for the state’s vaccination efforts. The health department’s system will be updated every other Wednesday to reflect county tier distinctions. Lincoln County is now under Turquoise Level restrictions, signifying the area is low risk. Counties categorized as turquoise will receive an update every four weeks instead of every two weeks. **Latest update on 6/21**


  • Face Coverings: Not required, per CDC guidance, for individuals who are vaccinated. Masks are still required for unvaccinated individuals, and businesses, workplaces, or tribes may require mask use to continue for individuals at their discretion.
  • Mass Gatherings: Limited to 150 persons
  • Non-Essential Retail: Operating at 75% of maximum occupancy.
  • Food & Drink Establishments: New Mexico Safe Certified establishments can operate with to-go, delivery, or indoor/outdoor dining at 75% of the maximum capacity.
  • Places of Lodging: Hotels, motels, RV parks and short-term vacation rentals that are New Mexico Safe Certified may operate at full occupancy. 50% of maximum occupancy for all others; 15 guests maximum for vacation rentals.
  • Close-Contact Businesses: Salons, gyms, tattoo parlors, and massage parlors can operate at 75% of maximum occupancy
  • Outdoor Recreational Facilities: Places like golf courses and ski basins can operate at 50% of maximum occupancy indoors and 75% occupancy outdoors.
  • Non-Tribal Casinos: Reopened.
  • State-Run Museums & Historic Sites: Reopened.
  • Large Entertainment Venues: Can operate at 75% capacity when outdoors, or 33% occupancy for indoor or enclosed spaces.
  • Bars & Clubs: Operating at 33% capacity inside or in enclosed spaces. Outdoor occupancy is 75%.
  • Camping is Limited: Expect camping restrictions in the Lincoln National Forest.
  • Safety Precautions: COVID-19 safe practices are in effect throughout Ruidoso with hand sanitizer stations available in Midtown and extra steps being taken among businesses and lodgers to ensure guest safety.

VISITOR RECOMMENDATIONS: Due to the ever-changing regulations, we recommend checking in with businesses before you visit them to confirm hours and services. Stay up to date with the latest news on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website, the Village of Ruidoso’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Center, and right here on Visit Ruidoso.


  • Don’t travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Do not travel with someone who is sick. Not sure? Get tested and play it safe.
  • Masks are required for everyone in New Mexico. Although not all states have the same rules, the Village of Ruidoso greatly appreciates everyone’s help to stay safe and enjoy their time in Lincoln County.
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet from others.
  • Do not congregate in large groups. Avoid gathering with others outside of your household. Due to indoor capacity limits, minimize time inside and be courteous to others.
  • Enjoy outdoors responsibly and take steps to prevent overcrowding of recreation areas and outdoor spaces to stay safe. Be prepared before you go with a plan, stay close to home, practice social distancing, and make sure you’re picking up your trash to promote cleanliness and protect others.

TRAVEL NOTICE: The state of New Mexico is no longer requiring visitors or residents to quarantine if they’re traveling from “high risk” states. However, it’s recommended that visitors quarantine for 14 days and receive a COVID test when arriving in New Mexico.

MASK REQUIREMENT: Face coverings are mandatory except when eating, drinking, or because of medical conditions. Individuals violating the mask mandate could face up to a $100 fine.