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

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Kelowna Rockets?

This quiz challenges the knowledge of those who claim to be the biggest Rockets fans

12-year-old Kelowna resident celebrates birthday with help of community

The community greeted Kate Pauling with ballons, banners and gifts along her paper route on Friday

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

Okanagan soup canned nearly 90 years ago gets taste test

YouTube shows man taking contents from old Bulmans Cannery vegetable mix and making, eating soup

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

Most Read