B.C. Provincial parks reduced to limited day use, camping closed until April 30 - InfoNews

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B.C. Provincial parks reduced to limited day use, camping closed until April 30

There won't be any camping in B.C.'s provincial parks until at least April 30, but some parks are open for limited day-use activities such as hiking, B.C. Parks announced today, March 20, 2020.
March 20, 2020 - 6:45 PM

The B.C. camping season has been put on hold, at least for the next several weeks.

B.C. Parks announced changes to their operations today as new COVID-19 protocols come into effect.

Overnight camping has been eliminated, at least until April 30, and the Discover Camping reservations system suspended for new reservations.

People with pre-existing reservations will receive automatic refunds within seven to 10 business days and a public notice will be issued when facilities are reopened and new reservations accepted.

Some day-use hiking and trail use will be permitted but most park services, including washrooms, will not be available.

Tourism operators and other businesses with permits to work within B.C. Parks will also be affected by the parks closures.

Visitors are advised to check with them directly in order to find out if they are still operating or not.

Some day use services are currently available at the following provincial parks:

Mount Seymour Provincial Park- access is restricted to some lower-elevation trails. Parking and road access are closed.

Cypress Provincial Park - access is restricted to some lower elevation trails, with parking and road access closed.

Goldstream Provincial Park, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, Miracle Beach Provincial Park and Wells Gray Provincial Park are also open to day use.

“Nature provides the perfect environment to promote health and well-being. We are following the advice of the provincial health officer to help people get outside, while ensuring they are following the provincial health officer’s direction and guidance to stay healthy,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman said in a press release issued today, March 20..

COVID-19 protocols also include suspension of services at marine parks, visitor centres, nature houses, washrooms and day-use facilities. Park users may continue to use trails and areas where accessible, although visitors should be aware some parking lots may be closed and gated.

Park users are reminded to keep at least two metres apart and be aware of the prospect of potentially large numbers of people in parks near urban centres.

There is a prospect of full park closures but those will take place on a case-by-case basis, if required to address health and safety concerns.

Visitors will be responsible for their own safety and park washroom facilities may not be available in most parks.

The park closures are being done in alignment with Parks Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the closure of all visitor services at national parks and historic sites in a speech on March 17. Those closures went into effect on Wednesday. 

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