The B.C. Government is immediately closing all provincial parks as part of its latest action to address COVID-19.

“Because physical distancing works, it is critical that we take every action needed to restrict the spread of COVID-19. This applies to British Columbians and out-of-province visitors who were planning to visit or stay at our provincial parks,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman. 

“The message is clear: stay home, avoid travel, do not put yourself or others at risk.”

The decision to close the park system was informed by continued feedback from RCMP, local government, First Nations, local search-and-rescue organizations and the general public. 

The province said while many people are observing the physical distancing requirements set by the provincial health officer, some continue to ignore the order, making enforcement in a wilderness setting challenging.

” We tried to provide safe space for people to get some exercise and fresh air in our beautiful parks. But it has proven too challenging to maintain safe distance between visitors,” Heyman said. 

“This action is difficult but necessary. We look forward to the day we can welcome people back to our wonderful parks.”

Recreation Sites and Trails BC has also closed its campgrounds and amenities in response to the COVID-19 situation.

BC Parks is extending the ban on all camping in provincial parks until May 31.