- By Katie Wedell
The U.S. government could be headed for a shutdown after midnight on Friday if Congress does not pass a temporary spending bill.
What would a shutdown mean for those planning domestic or international travel in the coming days or weeks?
First, employees deemed “essential” would remain on the job and that includes
Transportation Security Administration screeners and air traffic controllers. So flight schedules should not be affected by a shutdown.
Those planning international travel would also not be impacted, because passport and visa applications and delivery would still be processed by the State Department.
Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services.
But anyone planning travel to a national park or other site maintained by the federal government should be aware that those sites could have limited services.
During past government shutdowns, all national parks have closed, as well as federal museums like the Smithsonian and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
But Department of the Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift told the Associated Press that national parks and outdoor sites would remain open as much as possible. Campgrounds, concessions and other services would be closed she said.
Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park if the government shuts down.