Navajo president vetoes reopening tribal roads to visitors

A sign reads "Navajo Monument Vally Tribal Park Closed Until Further Notice" posted at the entrance of Monument Valley in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah, on the Navajo reservation Sunday, April 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has vetoed a resolution to reopen tribal roads on the Navajo reservation to tourists and other visitors amid the continuing pandemic.

Nez said Friday in a statement that he vetoed the resolution approved March 31 by the Navajo Nation Council because COVID-19 variants are spreading in the region and because more people need to be vaccinated β€œto move closer to herd immunity and this will take time.”

β€œI understand that people want to travel and visit our sites here on the Navajo Nation, but we have to prioritize the health and well-being of our people,” Nez added.

The closure does not affect state highways that pass through the reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.