Staying Safe in BC Parks

BC Parks has put protocols in place, including enhanced cleaning measures, to ensure campers and day-use visitors remain safe while getting back outdoors. Keeping our parks and campgrounds safe is a collective responsibility. As the new camping season gets underway, BC Parks staff and park operators asks visitors to adhere to physical distancing and posted guidelines while visiting parks and campgrounds.

1. Feeling sick? Park visits can wait.

Stay home if you have:

• A cough, fever or any symptoms of illness,

• Recently returned from travel outside of Canada?

• Been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Follow the orders of the Provincial Health Officer and for more information visit www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19.

2. Stay local.

While we all look forward to future road trips and exploring new parks, for now, we ask that you stay close to home, avoid non-essential travel, and enjoy where you live.

This is not the time for long distance travel for recreationalpurposes.

Many of our parks and protected areas are adjacent to rural, remote, and First Nations communities. As you plan your summer, please be mindful that these smaller communities may not be able to manage increases in out of town visitors.

You may also find amenities such as groceries and gas unavailable. As you head out for your camping trip, make adjustments:

• Stock up on groceries close to home—bring a cooler and extra ice to help you make the journey.

• Refuel your vehicle before you leave home and sanitize your hands after refueling.

3. Stay safe.

As we get outside, remember to play it safe this summer.

Refer to posted signs and follow the direction of park operators and staff—they are as invested in your safety as you are.

Take extra caution in day use areas and on hiking trails to reduce risk and avoid injury. Recreate within your skill level so as not to put others in emergency response, search and rescue and our health care system at risk.

4. Limit touch points and keep your distance.

Keep yourself and others safe by limiting touch points.

• Be mindful of high-touch areas and objects within the park (e.g., hand rails, garbage lids, wayfinding maps).

• Sanitize your hands after coming into contact with common areas or avoid touching altogether.

Although we’ve moved outside, physical distancing still has a role to play in safe outdoor recreation. Practice physical distancing in campgrounds and day use areas by:

• Lining up two metres apart at washrooms, shower buildings and taps.

• Maintaining two metres of distance when setting up at the beach.

• Visiting day use areas of the park early in the morning or later in the day to avoid crowds.

• Modeling good trail etiquette by maintaining distance between other hikers and making room for others to pass.

Please note: Due to social distancing, maximum occupancy of vehicle campsites is 8 people.

5. Keep nature serene and your hands clean.

Clean hands help keep everyone safe. Wash your hands frequently, especially when coming and going from your campsite.

Follow these hand-hygiene guidelines:

• Lather up with soap and warm water.

• Wash your hands for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “happy birthday” twice).

• Use an alcohol-based sanitizer when hand washing is not an option.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth withunwashed hands.

• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue rather than your hands. Immediately dispose of used tissues in a waste bin or bag and clean your hands right away.

6. Use common sense in common areas.

Limit your time in common areas and be considerate of other campers. When it comes to washrooms and shower facilities, please work together to adhere to the posted limit for the building.

When inside, give each other a lot of space—think the length of a hockey stick or a pool noodle.

We all know how much children enjoy playing in groups and on playgrounds. Parents are expected to help their children navigate physical distancing guidelines and adhere to posted signs and facility closures.

Younger children should be accompanied by a parent or adult when using common facilities and areas. Bring along sanitizing wipes and any other supplies you may need to keep tiny hands safe.

Enhanced cleaning measures are in place for common facilities, but we can all do our part to keep our common areas and frequently used spaces clean.

Above all, we ask that you practice patience, kindness and consideration as campers, park operators, and BC Parks staff all navigate this new way of camping, together.

7. Set up your campsite for success.

• Pack the essentials, including waste bags, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, plain soap, a wash basin, tissues, and flip flops for the shower. Extra items to consider may include gloves for disposing of waste in common receptacles, or non-medical grade masks for use in common areas, depending on your comfort level.

• When you arrive, explore your new space by reviewing campsite boundaries with your children. Keep all camping equipment, tents, vehicles, RVs only on your campsite pad.

• Maintain your social “bubble” by keeping two metres of distance from those not in your camping party whenever possible.

• Keep your socializing safe by limiting visitors to your campsite.

• Please note, in support of public health recommendations of social distancing, the maximum occupancy for a campsite is 8 people at any given time, including daytime visitors and overnight campers.

• Up your hand-hygiene game by setting up a hand washing station at your campsite. Bring along a large water cooler with a faucet or spout and eco-friendly hand soap. Set this up on the edge of your campsite’s picnic table for easy access.

Make a habit of washing or sanitizing your hands:

• When entering or exiting your campsite

• Before and after eating

• Before preparing or handling food

• Before handling clean or dirty dishes

• Campsite picnic tables are high touch surfaces and should be cleaned before and after each use.

We can all do our part to help keep campgrounds clean. As always, campers are expected to keep the campsite clean during their stay and leave no trace upon departure.

Follow the in-park signs and posted information for additional information and park-specific guidelines.

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Aug/Sept 2020

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