Summer may look a little different this year but it looks like everything hasn’t come to a complete halt. On Thursday, April 30, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that Alberta parks would be opening again on Friday, May 1. While you can now get back to hiking, it won't exactly be the same as it used to be.
During his update to the public on Thursday, Kenney announced that Alberta would be slowly starting to reopen.
While it could take up until Thursday, May 14, for things like restaurants and retail shops to open, outdoor activities have been given the thumbs-up to slowly, and cautiously lift restrictions.
On the Alberta Parks website, updated Friday, May 1, it reads that “Alberta Environment and Parks is taking an incremental approach to relaunching outdoor recreation by easing restrictions on access to outdoor pursuits Albertans love, including provincial parks, camping and public land.”
The website further notes that sites including campgrounds and boat launches will be opening in stages to ensure staff rescues and personal protective equipment is available.
While camping may not become a thing until the second week in May, we can begin to get back to hiking.
On the updated COVID-19 response page on the Alberta Parks website, it notes that people should only visit parks or go hiking where it is possible to maintain social distancing.
Like going to the grocery store, rules of staying two metres apart should still be applied on trails.
Alberta Parks is also recommending that you only visit a park with members of your household or your cohort family.
When planning your visit, it is also suggested that you avoid stopping for food and gas if possible in order to ensure the health and safety of yourself and the smaller communities along the way.
Should you visit a park and the parking lot is full, Alberta Parks asks that you consider visiting at a different time.
Everyone is suggested to go early.
While this is exciting news, it is important to keep in mind that social distancing protocols are still in place to ensure everyone's safety.
It looks like physical distancing measures will still need to be the new normal.