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More than half of Canada's national parks to begin re-opening June 1

Wednesday, May 27th 2020, 3:36 pm - Camping won't be allowed until at least June 21, Parks Canada says.

More than half of Canada's 48 national parks -- including Banff in Alberta, Thousand Island National Park in Ontario, and Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia -- will begin to reopen June first.

The complete list can be found on the Canada Parks website.

All parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas in Canada have been closed for weeks due to COVID-19.

So far, 29 parks have been selected to open for day use, and they will have access to washrooms.

Camping will not be allowed until at least June 21, and direct services — like visitor centres — remain closed for now. Specific opening dates will vary by park. Visitors are asked to check the Parks Canada website prior to planning a trip.

“As we all continue to do our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19, access to nature and the outdoors is important for our health and well-being," Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said in a statement.

"Our priority remains the health and safety of Canadians and it will be critical that we all respect the guidance of public health experts, avoid non-essential travel, and enjoy these special places responsibly. By working together, we can help keep our families, friends, and neighbours healthy and safe.”

SOCIAL DISTANCING IN NATIONAL PARKS

Officials are asking visitors to keep social distancing in mind when visiting parks this summer and to wear a mask in instances where it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.

The National Park Service in the U.S. recommends:

  • Maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.
  • Staying home if you feel sick.
  • Wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible.
  • Washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • And try to avoid touching your face, mouth, and eyes with unwashed hands.
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