Metro Vancouver announced Wednesday that it has closed Brae Island Regional Park in the Township of Langley, noting that the park is located in a municipality that has declared a state of emergency.
Parking lots at Boundary Bay Regional Park, Deas Island Regional Park, and Delta Heritage Airpark in the City of Delta have also been closed.
All other Metro Vancouver Regional Parks are currently open, though park facilities such as playgrounds, docks, rental facilities and picnic areas are closed.
“The majority of Metro Vancouver Regional Parks remain open because we understand that spending time in nature is a good way to reduce stress and take care of both your physical and mental health,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Metro Vancouver Board Chair. “However, all visitors must respect the direction of the Provincial Health Officer and practice physical distancing to mitigate the spread of the virus and prevent further restrictions at regional parks.”
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As part of these measures and restrictions, Metro Vancouver has increased staffing, parking lot traffic management, and signage at regional parks.
Now, to ensure other regional parks remain open, park users are asked to follow a series of instructions:
- Maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others, including in parking lots and trail entrances.
- Comply with closures of playgrounds, nature play areas and picnic shelters.
- Wash or sanitize hands frequently during the day and upon returning home.
- Dispose of any tissues in designated garbage bins.
“As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, every one of us must adapt our daily behaviours to reduce the burden on our healthcare system,” said John McEwen, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee. “Metro Vancouver will continue to monitor and manage visitor behaviour in all of its parks, and will take the necessary action to protect public health and safety throughout the system. We are all in this together – everyone needs to do their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”
Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks system consists of 23 regional parks, five greenways, two ecological conservancy areas, and two regional park reserves in communities from Bowen Island to Maple Ridge.
On Tuesday, Parks Canada announced the closure of all its sites across the country.