Leave the boat docked for one more weekend, province says - InfoNews

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Leave the boat docked for one more weekend, province says

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May 15, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Okanagan Lake may look tempting, but the province is hoping boaters will be able to restrain themselves from setting sail.

“Recreational mariners are reminded to avoid non-essential trips on the water and stay close to home,” a press release from the province stated. “Each call search-and-rescue specialists respond to puts them at risk of exposure to COVID-19, as well as requiring them to use precious supplies of personal protective equipment.”

The province is hoping people will be on their best behaviour and local governments are taking the same approach.

When asked if there were any plans being made to restrict lake access Lance Kayfish, risk manager with the City of Kelowna, said no.
“We expect people to follow the recommendations of the (provincial health officer) but will not close our boat launches. Closing boat launches is not an order nor a recommendation that we have received. We hope that people from outside the region listen to the advice (from the provincial health officer) and do not travel here from outside Kelowna and the Okanagan for the long weekend,” Kayfish said in an emailed statement.
“All measures are in place from partner organizations (i.e., Okanagan Beach Rentals) to ensure safe use of rental watercraft following (provincial health officer) guidelines.”

In West Kelowna boat launches will also remain open, but city staff will be "installing signage to inform boaters that the provincial health authority has asked that they not go pleasure boating right now."

Earlier this week, provincial health minister Adrian Dix said he’d prefer people avoid all non-essential travel in the province to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and instead stay local and enjoy the outdoors.

Though some restrictions are expected to ease next week, he stressed that it remains vital for everyone to maintain physical distancing and take other important measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

That includes staying home if you have any symptoms of illness, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and not touching your face.

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