Most B.C. provincial parks remain open, but campsites and the camp reservation system are closed along with day-use facilities in most locations. (Black Press files)

B.C. closes camping, day services at provincial parks for COVID-19

Miracle Beach, Wells Gray facilities open for day-use only

Campsites, visitor centres, playgrounds, washrooms and day-use facilities are closed as of March 24 in most B.C. provincial parks as the province continues to increase restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closures extend to the end of April at least. The B.C. environment ministry made the decision after seeing an increase in visitors, with many people not complying with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s directives on maintaining physical distance to avoid transmitting the novel coronavirus.

Complete park closures are being considered on a case-by-case basis as health officials look to prevent people from gathering in large numbers, particularly at beaches.

Full closures by B.C. Parks are already in effect at French Beach, Goldstream, Gowlland Tod, Juan de Fuca, Liard River Hot Springs, Maquinna Marine, Joffre Lakes, Murrin, Shannon Falls, Skaha Bluffs, Stawamus Chief and Ancient Forest Provincial Park near Prince George.

RELATED: Port Renfrew, Pacheedaht Nation turn away visitors

RELATED: No gifts, visitors restricted at Island Health facilities

Exceptions are Miracle Beach Provincial Park in the Comox Valley and Wells Gray Provincial Park in the Cariboo Mountains of east-central B.C., where winter-accessible sites remain open.

A wide range of provincial recreation sites and trails are also closed. (See here for a list.)

Forests ministry parks around the province have also closed their camping until further notice.

“All campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will be closed until at least April 30; as we move through this pandemic, this closure date will be reviewed,” says a notice on the B.C. Parks website. “Full refunds will be automatically provided to existing reservation holders during this time and given the volume of cancellations, please allow seven to 10 days for your cancellation and refund. Please do not cancel your own reservation as this will delay our ability to process your refund.”

B.C. Parks’ Discover Camping reservation system is suspended for all new reservations until further notice.


@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

Some Cowichan schools to reopen for children of essential-services workers

Cowichan Valley will open 8 elementary schools this week

Residents urged to stay close to home over the holiday weekend

Time to be extra vigilant during the COVID-19 crisis

Vandekamp moving on from Cowichan Capitals

Head coach returns to AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game developed by Crofton family just the remedy for filling time at home

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Long list of events disrupted by COVID-19 around the community

Challenging situation affecting fundraisers, entertainment, sports and more

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

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

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Most Read