BC is closing 16 provincial parks due to people not respecting social distancing guidelines.
The parks that are being closed are: French Beach Provincial Park, Goldstream Provincial Park, Gowlland Tod Provincial Park (closure restricted to McKenzie Bight and Tod Inlet), Juan de Fuca Provincial Park (includes China Beach, Sombrio Beach and Botanical Beach), ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park, Spectacle Lake Provincial Park.
On the South Coast, these parks are being closed: Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, Murrin Provincial Park, Shannon Falls Provincial Park, Stawamus Chief Provincial Park and Protected Area.
Other parks that are being closed are: Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park, Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park (hot springs and campground closed previously; now full closure), Flores Island Park and Gibson Marine Park (closure of Wildside Trail), Maquinna Marine Provincial Park, and Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park.
These closures are in addition to a previous suspension of services and facilities in provincial parks, including visitor centres, nature houses, washrooms and day-use areas.
All campgrounds are also closed until April 30, 2020.
BC government said it has heard concerns from the public and other agencies about the increase in visitors and is implementing full closures of certain parks throughout the province.
“The mental and physical wellness benefit of being outside during the COVID-19 pandemic response is important, but keeping people safe right now is the most important thing we can be doing,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“Until we flatten the transmission curve of COVID-19 and people strictly comply with the PHO physical distancing requirement, provincial park access will be restricted.”