All Canadian National Parks & Historic Sites Are Closing Amid COVID-19
The latest COVID-19 closures.
The latest closure in Canada's response to COVID-19 includes the great outdoors. It was announced Tuesday morning that Canadian national parks and historic sites would be closing to encourage social distancing. This measure is expected to be in place for a while.
Speaking to the press outside Rideau Cottage, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first announced the Parks Canada closures Tuesday before noon. It was also announced by the Minister of Canadian Heritage at a press conference involving members of the government.
"Parks Canada will no longer be open," Minister Steven Guilbeault said. "Parks Canada will no longer admit visitors."
He went on to say that this move came from Environment Canada and was based on the scientific evidence and advice of public health experts, but that "no decision is taken lightly."
Addressing the media and the public, he said: "Our number one priority is to protect the health and safety of all Canadians."
This includes the Cape Spear Lighthouse, national forts like the Fortress of Louisburg, L'anse aux Meadows, Montmorency Park, and more.
These spots will officially be closed starting Wednesday, March 18.
While the public will not be able to visit these locations, there will still be some work going on.
Minister Guilbeault told the public that essential services including maintenance, search and rescue, and some research will continue at the parks and heritage site.
This is the latest closure as the coronavirus impacts Canada. Justin Trudeau also announced yesterday that the country would be closing its borders to all except Canadian citizens or residents and U.S. citizens.
Multiple levels of government have also recommended avoiding large crowds and public gatherings.
Meanwhile, in Ontario, a state of emergency has been declared. This also means restaurants and bars completely close or limit themselves to take out and delivery services only.
As for the national parks, Guilbeault told Canadians that more announcements will be coming in the following days.