Campsites in B.C. provincial parks will be closed to people from outside the province this summer, as officials continue to adjust the rules to the coronavirus pandemic.
BC Parks said in a statement on Thursday that non-B.C. residents who already have reservations should call before June 15 to cancel and receive a full refund.
Reservations made after next Monday by non-residents will be subject to immediate cancellation without refund.
“The health and safety of our BC Parks staff, park operators and visitors continue to be our top priority. We are all in this together,” the agency said in the statement.
According to an environment ministry spokesperson, all campers will be asked to show ID proving their residency when they arrive at the parks.
Asked about the parks closure at his daily briefing, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the closure has been done, in part, to ensure British Columbians have first and only dibs on their provincial campsites for a summer during which they are not supposed to travel outside B.C.
“What we’re trying to do … is to control, to a degree, non-essential travel or overnight travel. It’s just a prudent step that’s being taken. It’s also being done to ensure access should such campsites be reopened sometime in the summer … British Columbians have full access.”
BC Parks did not say how it will determine who is a resident.