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

Update from the medical community in Smithers, April 3rd, 2020

Local M.D.s grateful for public’s efforts during COVID-19 pandemic, urge continued vigilance

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

School meals program continues

SD54 schools now providing bag breakfast, lunch and snacks for students and hampers for families

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

‘Drive right through’: Haida Gwaii First Nation erects checkpoint for non-residents

Skidegate Band Council Emergency Operations Centre erected checkpoint on April 2

Most Read