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

Pitt Meadows not expecting flooding but is prepared should it happen

City is monitoring rivers upstream and has completed study on evacuation route planning

MRI arrives at Maple Ridge hospital this week

A $5-million diagnostic machine has been bolted into place at Ridge Meadows Hospital

LETTER: A 12-year-old’s poetic tribute to George Floyd

Keena wrote this poem as part of a Grade 7 project

LETTER: Telosky park being treated like a garbage can

Maple Ridge resident upset by the amount of littering found in revamped facilities

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows seniors enjoy outdoor dance party for Seniors Week

Outdoor party held in the parking lot of the Pitt Meadows Seniors Activity Centre

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read