May long weekend is right around the corner and it looks like you'll actually be able to explore some of B.C.'s parks. According to officials, most B.C. parks will reopen just in time for the long weekend. While not every hot spot will be open, there are tons of places that will be allowing visitors as early as the May long weekend to make sure you can get out of the house and into nature. Don't start packing your tent quite yet, camping won't be available until June.
B.C. officials have finally announced that they will begin to reopen parts of the province as early as Thursday, May 14.
While some parts of the plan are still up in the air, the province hopes to include bars and restaurants in the first phase of reopening.
Included in the first phase of reopening will also be some B.C. provincial parks.
According to B.C. Parks, on Thursday, May 14, “the majority of provincial parks and protected areas and marine parks” will begin to reopen.
Even though the parks will be reopening doesn't mean safety guidelines have fallen by the wayside.
Social distancing and proper hygiene are still expected from everyone who visits the parks. In fact, much more than in the past.
Opening just in time for the long weekend, the Provincial Health Officer and Minister of Health have both emphasized the importance of getting people outdoors in a safe manner.
The parks, however, will only be available for day visits at this time.
In the question and answer section of the website, B.C. Parks writes that “Park Operators are working to prepare facilities, services, and hire staff while determining how to best accommodate social distancing between staff and visitors.”
Most campgrounds in the province will be open for overnight visitors on Monday, June 1. Group campsites, on the other hand, will remain closed until further notice.
When camping does reopen it may look a little different as physical distancing measures will need to be put in place.
Alberta has already laid some groundwork on what this could look like as they are opening up campgrounds at only half capacity.
The B.C. Parks website currently has a list of every park in the province that will be open. Literally hundreds of areas across B.C. have the opening date of Thursday, May 14.
In addition to these reopenings, trails, beaches, picnic areas, washrooms, and boat launches for day use will also be opening next Thursday.
This means that your long weekend plans can now include some of the outdoor activities you know and love.
At this time, B.C. Parks has not specified if visiting these areas is for locals only.
Under the “health and safety guidelines” section of the website, it reads that everyone should be visiting parks close to home. Visitors should also respectful of any closures and everyone should be following proper physical distancing requirements.
Anyone who wants to visit is also encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer.