GATINEAU, Que. — Parks Canada is implementing additional measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Despite the suspension of visitor services and closure of facilities on March 19, high visitation levels have occurred in a number of parks, leading to public-safety and health concerns, as well as increased risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
To reduce the number of visitors and minimize risks to visitors and employees, Parks Canada is temporarily suspending all motor-vehicle access by visitors at all national parks, national historic sites and national marine-conservation areas, effective March 25 until further notice.
“The government’s top priority remains the health and safety of Canadians. The window to contain the spread of COVID-19 is short and we must all change our behaviours now to flatten the curve and reduce the burden on our health-care system. I’m asking all Canadians to follow the advice of public-health experts, stay home, and undertake essential travel only,” says Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. “At this time, we’re also asking Canadians not to visit Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine-conservation areas. We must all work together to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Highways and roads that pass through Parks Canada places will remain open. Commercial and through traffic is permitted on these corridors. Indigenous traditional activities in Parks Canada locations will also continue. Residents of townsites will still be permitted vehicular access, but those with recreational properties within national parks are strongly encouraged to stay home.