Here's what Albertans need to know about visiting Banff this weekend

Jul 30 2020, 2:11 pm

It’s looking to be a gorgeous long weekend to start August off, which likely means plenty of Albertans flocking to some of the province’s most picturesque destinations.

However, there is still a global pandemic taking place, so Lake Louise and Banff Tourism have issued a release ensuring that visitors are informed before making their way into the mountains.

According to the release, those planning a trip to the Town of Banff will need to keep a few things in mind before packing the car — as things may not go exactly as planned.

“We are so excited to welcome Canadians to Banff and Lake Louise this year, and with plenty of hotel availability, there’s such a great opportunity to stay the weekend, or better yet take your family vacation here,” said Leslie Bruce, CEO and president, Banff and Lake Louise Tourism.

“It’s important to note that while we have a lot of wide open space throughout Banff and Lake Louise, some popular spots have limited capacity, and it’s best to have a back-up plan in case you can’t get to where you’re trying to go.”

Given that shuttles are not operating and parking capacities have been reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be difficult to secure a parking spot at some of the Rockies’ more popular destinations like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

Those heading into the town of Banff will also need to keep in mind that they’ll need to have masks on if entering any public buildings or the town’s Downtown Pedestrian Area, as a new bylaw went into effect this Thursday.

Patio seating has been increased throughout the town to accommodate for physical distancing, and guests are encouraged to check out a variety of other activities — such as walking along or paddling on the Bow River — during peak downtown hours to reduce crowd sizes.

As always, Albertans are being asked to maintain adequate hand hygiene, practice physical distancing, wear a mask when indoors or anywhere that physical distancing would be difficult, and stay home if they are feeling sick.

The release also encourages a mid-week visit to Alberta’s Rocky Mountain destinations when there are usually fewer people.

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