In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, the province has announced they are closing all Recreation Sites with camping facilities until at least May 31.
The closure is on facilities that offer overnight camping. The province will continue to operate the sites that are trail networks on a case by case basis.
“This distinction is important because we have over 200 recreation sites that are actually trail networks and it is not our intention to close vast areas of Crown land or close trails,” said Discovery Coast Recreation District recreation officer Graham Cameron in an email.
Trail sites where people gather and frequently come in contact with touched surfaces are closed, which includes fee collection booths, kiosks, overnight shelters, backcountry cabins, day use shelters and other infrastructure.
A previous decision by the Recreation Sites and Trails branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development was to allow limited day use, which Cameron said caused confusion internally and externally.
“As we head into the long weekend it is incumbent upon us to communicate to the public that recreation sites are not open to support the public health efforts to encourage people to stay at home,” he added.
According to the order, overnight camping increases the risk of virus spread, as do non-family gatherings. The limits will also support provincial and national health officers’ decision to limit non-essential travel.
The Provincial government has also announced the closure of all B.C. Parks until the same date.
A full list of closed facilities is available at http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/closures.aspx.