The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s famed Long Beach, between Tofino and Ucluelet, is expected to partially reopen on June 4. (Westerly file photo)

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve plans limited reopening on June 4

The Park Reserve shut down on March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is getting ready to reopen limited visitor access next week.

The Park Reserve is scheduled to re-open on June 4 after being shut down on March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Tofino mayor urges “kindness” as tourism reopens

Wednesday’s announcement confirmed that select parking areas, beach accesses and washroom facilities within the Park Reserve’s Long Beach and Wickaninnish Beach facilities will be reopened next week, as will the Rainforest Trail and Shorepine Bog Trail.

“Until June 4, these facilities remain closed and we ask that visitors respect these closures in order to allow park staff to do the necessary work to prepare for opening,” the announcement reads.

Green Point Campground will remain closed until June 21 at the earliest.

“Camping in other areas of the National Park Reserve, including the West Coast Trail, Keeha Beach, and Broken Group Islands, remains suspended until Parks Canada and First Nations assess how these backcountry services might resume,” the announcement reads.

It adds that, “visiting Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will be different than it has been in the past,” and asks anyone planning to visit the Park Reserve to first check out the guidelines available at pc.gc.ca/pacificrim.

“The health and safety of visitors and employees is of utmost importance to the Government of Canada. Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and continues to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Visitors should follow the advice of public health experts, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two metres from others,” the announcement reads.

READ MORE: West Coast Trail to remain closed for now

“Safety is a shared responsibility. Parks Canada is asking Canadians to be cautious and conservative in their use of these places, to observe any regional or provincial travel restrictions and to respect any closures that are in place. Anyone participating in recreational activities should be extra cautious to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on search and rescue teams and on the health care system.”

The Park Reserve’s website states “resumption of services will take time and be incremental in nature to ensure the health and safety of Canadians, visitors and Parks Canada staff.”

The Westerly News has reached out to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve for comment and will update this story as soon as new information comes in.

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andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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