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'Please stay home for now,' Squamish says after visitors flock to Sea to Sky
VANCOUVER -- The District of Squamish is urging visitors to stay away from the area for now, after crowds of people flooded the Sea to Sky region over the weekend, prompting concerns about physical distancing.
Squamish RCMP posted a photo Saturday with images the detachment called "unsettling," showing packed parking lots and road shoulders. See the photos below.
According to police, the photos were taken at popular day-use and hiking destinations, including Porteau Cove, Murrin Lake and Joffre Lakes.
The district noted the images looked "like a busy long weekend" and said it received social media messages about car-loads of people heading to mountain bike trailheads.
"People are not listening to the experts, they are not keeping two metres apart from one another. This is not a joke, and it's not an extended holiday," Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott said in a news release. "We're all passionate about exploring B.C., but now is not the time to travel."
One of the district's most popular attractions, the Stawamus Chief, was closed by BC Parks on Sunday over concerns around the spread of COVID-19.
The closure includes the two main parking lots at the park, as well as all trail access.
The Sea-to-Sky Gondola announced on March 18 it was suspending operations amid the outbreak.
Further north, the Resort Municipality of Whistler is also urging visitors to stay away.
"For those not in Whistler, this is not the time to travel. I ask that you stay home for now until we can welcome you with open arms again," Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton said in a news release.