Manitobans impatient to camp despite COVID-19

The pandemic does not stop Manitobans who like to camp, as the figures show the day after the opening of reservations for campgrounds in provincial parks.

According to the province, there were 13,118 reservations made on Monday alone. This is a 39% increase from the opening day last year, when 9,453 reservations were made for the same number of campsites.

In early April, Manitoba delayed the opening of reservations, which were scheduled for April 6 and 8, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the province.

This year, in addition to the usual regulations in effect in provincial parks, campsites and campers will have to comply with strict health guidelines due to the pandemic.

Gatherings should not, for example, exceed 10 people, and the instructions for social distancing should be respected.

Hygiene measures will be reinforced with increased cleaning of toilets and showers. Campers should wear sandals or shoes when using the showers.

Whether they have reserved space for a tent, trailer, yurt or cabin, campers will need to bring their own toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other personal hygiene products.

They are also asked to fill up with gas when leaving to avoid having to stop along the way and to have with them everything they need for their stay so as to limit the risk of spreading in the regions. where they will go.

On the campsite, both staff and customers can wear non-medical masks.

Provincial campsites open as of May 15 for the Queen’s Day long weekend.

The recreational fishing season begins on May 9 in the southeast and May 16 in other regions of Manitoba. Fishermen who take advantage of the province’s many water bodies are also often camping enthusiasts.

What about private campsites?

The rules that will prevail in provincial parks will be enforced in private campsites. The president of the Lilac Resort campsite in Sainte-Anne, Daniel Manaigre, says that he will follow the directives of the Manitoba government to the letter.

He says that, on his site, everything will be done to ensure the health of customers and staff. “We will disinfect our toilets every hour and no more than two families will be able to enter the room at the same time,” he said.

Children’s play structures will be disinfected every morning to ensure that all young people are safe.

Daniel Manaigre indicates that Lilac employees will ensure strict compliance with sanitary measures on the campsite and in the pools, when they are open.

National parks remain closed

For the moment, in an email response, Parks Canada indicates that camping is suspended in all national parks across the country, at least until May 31, 2020.

The Federal Agency says it plans to resume visits to certain places. Parks Canada adds that it will take time to resume operations and service.

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