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

$173K to support Okanagan seniors amid pandemic

United Way announces more funding for frontline programs

Vernon couple support Kidney Walk despite setbacks

Jacqueline Marioni has had two kidney transplants; both organs have rejected or are rejecting her

Vernon Vipers land prep school blueliner

Griffen Barr, from Nanaimo, was captain of Shawnigan Lake club in 2019-20

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

Suspicious activity on Predator Ridge bike trails

A rock deliberately placed on a hazardous corner results in bolstered security, cameras

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Princeton RCMP sergeant kills cougar threatening residential neighborhood

An RCMP officer shot and killed a cougar, close to a residential… Continue reading

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read