All BC Provincial Parks are temporarily closing to help make sure people are physical distancing.
The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy says the closure of “all provincial parks is a response to a widespread call for increased action to address COVID-19.”
The decision to close the parks followed feedback from the RCMP, local governments, First Nations, search-and-rescue organizations and the public.
Minister Bill Heyman said, “because physical distancing works, it is critical that we take every action needed to restrict the spread of COVID-19.”
Heyman says, “the message is clear: stay home, avoid travel, do not put yourself or others at risk.”
He added that it was a difficult but necessary decision.
Heyman said they tried to provide safe space for people to get some exercise and fresh air, but it has proven too challenging to maintain safe distance between visitors.
The ministry says while many people are observing physical distancing requirements set by the provincial health officer, some continue to ignore the order, making enforcement in a wilderness setting challenging.
The Recreation Sites and Trails BC branch of the forests ministry has already closed its campgrounds and amenities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.