National parks reopened for day use on June 1, but campgrounds will remain closed until at least June 21. As for provincial parks, campgrounds opened on June 1 at 50% capacity. The provincial booking system was flooded with people trying to book sites when it opened on May 14, according to the provincial government.
For a bit of background, national parks closed on March 25, and officials asked visitors to stay away. While the highways through the parks were still open for through traffic and commercial traffic, all parking facilities and visitor services were shut down. As of April 15, camping, group activities and events were suspended at all national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas.
"Anyone considering a visit to a Parks Canada location should cancel their trips," Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said on March 24.
The loss of tourism has been hard on Jasper businesses, town councillor Jenna McGrath told CBC's Radio Active.
When the pandemic began in March, rescue groups were asking people not to risk putting any additional pressure on the medical system.
"Users should choose activities in areas that support emergency access and present minimal challenges and/or hazards," Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section posted on Facebook.
If you still want to stick close to home, Alberta's chief medical officer of health has indicated it's OK to go for walks and enjoy being outside.
But keep in mind, even if you're out on the trails of Mill Creek ravine, social distancing is still required. That means keeping at least two metres between yourself and others, and avoiding touching rails, garbage cans or other objects that could transmit COVID-19.
Friday, April 17, 2020