Playland delays opening until after the May long weekend

Apr 27 2021, 11:19 pm

Please note: As recommended by BC’s health officials, indoor gatherings of any kind and unessential travel in the province are not recommended at this time. Currently, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted, but use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.

While it was originally slated to open for the season this Saturday (albeit at a reduced capacity), Playland announced late Tuesday afternoon that it has now delayed its opening day until after the May long weekend.

“We had confidence in our ability to provide a safe outdoor experience for local families,” said Playland in a statement. “During discussions today with the Provincial Health Office concerns were raised related to Playland drawing travel outside of the regional health authorities.”

Due to this concern, Playland said it was asked to remain closed until after the May long weekend to support the provincial circuit breaker.

“We are looking forward to opening our park to guests following the May long weekend,” the statement concluded.

The announcement comes after the East Vancouver amusement park faced a barrage of backlash online, with people expressing their anger, frustration, and confusion at plans to open the park this weekend amid provincial travel and gathering restrictions.

Asked if she had any concerns or thoughts around the reopening, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday that Vancouver Coastal Health is working with officials “to understand risks and benefits at this time, and we’ll be working with them over the next week.” She did not offer any further details at the time.

Playland has said that amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will be operating at a “significantly” reduced capacity, and COVID-19 health measures, including physical distancing and mask-wearing, will be in place. Enhanced cleaning procedures will be implemented as well.

“Playland will continue to make safety its top priority,” the park said in a statement. “Guests should comply with public health orders, and not travel outside of their local health authority.”

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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