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

Salmon Arm man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Ken Derkach apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

From mouldy attics to giant wasp nests, Shuswap home inspector shares surprising finds

Salmon Arm’s Brad Campbell assembling photo gallery of disturbing discoveries

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Shuswap History in Pictures: Floodwater food run

A young boy rows through Sicamous’ streets during the 1972 flood.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read