COVID-19 Update

April 2, 2020 – 5:00 pm

We appreciate your interest in Bryson City and Swain County. Please continue to check back here for updates regarding our area’s response to the COVID-19 situation. Tourism Development Authority Official Statement.

State of North Carolina Executive Orders: Emergency Order 3/23/20. Stay At Home Order 3/27/20.  Stay At Home FAQ 3/27/20. Swain County Executive Orders:  State of Emergency 3/23/20. Supplement to State of Emergency 3/27/20. Addendum to Local State of Emergency 3/23/20. Please note that the Town of Bryson City is complying with Swain County Orders. If there is any conflict or confusion between state and county orders, the stricter of the two will apply.

All lodging (short-term rentals of any type, for less than a one-month stay) are now closed to leisure travelers.
There are exceptions for legitimate work-related stays under certain guidelines. If you are traveling for business, confirm with your lodging that you are eligible, or contact the Swain County Administration office at 828-488-9273, Ext. 6.​ (Enacted 3/27/2020. Link to document to come.)

Any person entering Swain County who is coming to Swain County from another state or country must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This includes all members of the household. Persons should bring with them enough supplies, such as groceries and medication, to last for 14 days. This includes re-entry by anyone who has traveled. (Enacted 3/30/2020. Link to document to come.)

Temporary closures are affecting attractions and events. Some closures include: Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (click links for further explanation), Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nantahala National Forest (Tsali, for example), Swain County Visitors Center and Heritage Museum, Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians, the Appalachian Rivers Aquarium, all Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Centers, Blue Ridge Parkway Centers, and many other businesses. The Qualla Boundary (Cherokee) is closed to all but local residents and employees.

Currently, carry out and delivery are the only options for restaurants in Bryson City. All restaurants are closed for dine-in per NC Governor’s Executive Order. Here’s a list of what’s available (pdf). And of course there is always fast food, including Naber’s Drive-in Restaurant.

If need more information on North Carolina relating to coronavirus, go to the website for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To protect yourself and others, please follow these common-sense recommendations from the NCDHHS and CDC:

  • Do not travel if you are sick.
  • Avoid air travel and large crowds if you are at higher risk. This includes gatherings such as concert venues, conventions, church services, sporting events and crowded social events.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • If you feel well, it is not necessary to wear a face mask. Face masks are most effective when used by people who are already ill to prevent them from spreading viruses and other germs.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Smokies.


Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce

210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713

Karen Proctor
Executive Director



Free 2020 Travel Guide to the Smokies — Includes the Official 2020 All Aboard for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.