You can reserve a campsite in B.C. starting Monday
VANCOUVER -- Camping enthusiasts will soon be able to book themselves a site for the coming weeks, as reservations open in B.C. on Monday.
B.C.'s provincial parks were temporarily closed because of a lack of physical distancing during the pandemic, but many have reopened.
With that, camping will be allowed on June 1 and reservations can be booked as of May 25 at 7 a.m. through the Discover Camping website. Bookings can be made on a rolling two-month period, so as of Monday, reservations can be made up to July 25.
"To ensure physical distancing, you may notice some changes in campgrounds, including additional spacing between campsites and limitations on the number of guests in campgrounds," the BC Parks website says.
But even as some sites open, others will remain closed or capacity will be reduced. For example, camping at Chilliwack and Cultus lakes will have phased reopenings, while other parks – like Garibaldi – will stay closed to camping until further notice.
BC Parks also said in a statement on its website that access to campsites is limited to B.C. residents for the entire 2020 season.
Any non-B.C. residents who already made a reservation, can contact the BC Parks call centre for a refund before June 15. But anyone who is a non-B.C. resident and tries to make a reservation after May 25 will have their booking cancelled.
"We all want to get through this, we all want to visit our friends and neighbours across Canada, but right now we can't do it," Minister of Environment and Climate Change George Heyman told CTV News. "We want to continue the success we've had flattening the curve."
On Thursday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the restrictions will help ensure more B.C. residents have access to the sites while promoting limited travel.
"What we're trying to do is … control, to a degree, non-essential travel or overnight travel," he said. "So it's just a prudent step that's being taken."