Quebec gives campgrounds green light to reopen Monday
Campground on Gaspé Peninsula plans grocery delivery for campers, so visitors don't risk contact with locals
Quebec Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx announced Wednesday that marinas, accommodations like Airbnb rentals and campgrounds can resume business starting June 1, except in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas.
Overnight stays will be permitted in provincial parks, and hunting and fishing camps are allowed to open.
Proulx specified travel between regions of the province is still discouraged but is not prohibited, and anyone doing so should be stocking up on supplies in their home region before heading on any trips.
Rentals are limited to single households whose members have been quarantined together, and there must be a 24-hour grace period between rentals to any group of more than five people.
"It is essential to always follow the directives issued by public health authorities concerning gathering and physical distancing," Proulx said.
Proulx said it's important to relaunch the tourism economy, on which some regions of the province rely heavily.
"With the reopening of marinas, tourist accommodation and SEPAQ [provincial park] accommodations, it will give a little fresh air to that industry, and it allows Quebecers to start planning vacations in Quebec," Proulx said.
Taking time to 'do it so it's safe'
At Cime Aventures in Bonaventure, Que., general manager Elodie Brideau said she's glad campgrounds can reopen, but she and her staff need more time before they're ready to do that. Their planned opening date is June 19.
"We're just making sure everything is safe and good to go before we start this upcoming season," said Brideau.
At the campground, she said, the sites are already far enough apart that it's unlikely they will have to reduce their capacity.
But finding ways to keep more than 70 employees two metres apart from one another will be more complicated, she said.
Brideau said she's planning a contactless food delivery system for campers, so visitors from other regions of the province can order supplies without risking contact with local businesses.
"The question is not whether the Gaspé needs visitors, it's how do we do it so that it's safe and allows for the summer economy," Brideau said.
Proulx says it's likely there will be a second phase of reopening, depending on how this first phase goes, and Quebecers will be informed about what they should be doing before, during and after a camping trip.
With files from Joshua Grant