Parks Canada to close national parks, historic sites to vehicle traffic

James Marshall
March 25, 2020

"Anyone considering a visit to a Parks Canada location, including those in urban areas, should cancel their plans as vehicle access for the purposes of visitor use will be suspended until further notice".

"We saw visitation rates soar", he said.

"I know this weekend was quite attractive across our great country, which leads many families to spend time outdoors in our parks and heritage sites", Wilkinson said in a video message. "This, however, is an issue, as our trails and day-use areas were suddenly quite crowded".

"It increases the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus and that is why Parks Canada is immediately implementing new measures to address this concern", Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson said in a social media post by Parks Canada on Tuesday.

As of 12:01a.m. Wednesday March 25, all visitor vehicle traffic will be barred from entering any of Canada's national parks or historic sites.

The national agency said they're still noticing a high number of visitors despite the suspension of visitor services and the closure of facilities last Thursday. "Parking lots will be closed". "This is certainly a time of transition as we adjust to this new normal", he said.

Parks Canada says the move is meant to significantly reduce visitation and is in respect to the advice of public health experts to stay home and avoid public gatherings.

People who live within national parks will still be allowed to have vehicular access, but those with recreational properties "are strongly encouraged to stay home", Parks Canada said in its release.

Highways and roadways passing through Parks Canada jurisdiction will remain open and Parks Canada will limit its own activities to basic critical operations during this time.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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