Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge is one of B.C.’s busiest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

The B.C. government is closing all provincial parks, on the advice of RCMP, local governments and search and rescue organizations about the risks associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

B.C. Parks is also extending the ban on all camping in provincial parks until May 31, after campgrounds and day facilities were closed March 24.

Most people were observing physical distancing while using parks and trails, but some were not and enforcement in wilderness areas is too difficult, Environment Minister George Heyman said April 8. The decision comes as the Easter weekend approaches and spring weather arrives for some in B.C.

RELATED: Ottawa lowers threshold for business wage subsidy

RELATED: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Henry warns

“This applies to British Columbians and out-of-province visitors who were planning to visit or stay in our provincial parks,” Heyman said. “The message is clear: stay home, avoid travel, do not put yourself or others at risk.”

The extension of the camping ban to the end of May aligns with that of Canada’s national parks. Refunds from the B.C. Parks reservation system will be issued automatically, the ministry said.

Forest ministry recreation sites, facilities and trails were also closed March 24 as a precaution against COVID-19 exposure.

Any changes to the status of provincial parks will be posted to the B.C. Parks website.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read