PEI

No new reservations for P.E.I. National Park until June 1st due to pandemic

The Cavendish and Stanhope, P.E.I. campgrounds typically open in early June, and the planned opening date for this year is June 3 — although that could change.

'We are certainly as disappointed as Islanders are'

Roads inside the P.E.I. National Park were closed last month to prevent Islanders from gathering. (Brian McInnis/CBC)

Parks Canada will not be taking any calls for new reservations at campgrounds within the P.E.I. National Park until at least June 1.

"We are certainly as disappointed as Islanders are as well that we continue to have to make these hard decisions but we all know that it's really for the best, in terms of limiting the spread of COVID-19," says Ed Jager, director of visitor experience with Parks Canada.

There are also temporary road closures on the Gulf Shore Parkway until further notice.

The Cavendish and Stanhope campgrounds typically open in early June, and the planned opening date for this year is June 3 — although that could change.

Jager said work is taking place to ensure both campgrounds are ready for when health officials give the OK to open.

"What we're really looking at is how can that work happen in a way that is safe for Parks Canada team members," Jager said.

Jager said staff has to think about how people visiting parks and campgrounds can do so safely. He said with the ongoing pandemic people could be worried about things such as using public washrooms.

"How is that experience changing? What do we need to put in place to make sure people can do that safely?" he said.

Parks Canada is reminding Islanders that dogs, cats and horses, are not permitted on the beaches of the Prince Edward Island National Park from April 1 to Oct. 15. (Laura Meader/CBC)

He said Park Canada also needs to think about staff and what measures can be put in place to maintain parks, campgrounds and clean facilities while ensuring the safety of both visitors and staff.

"Some of that work is already done for specific activities and then other work is underway and being thought of so that we can do it effectively and safety," he said.

On top of that Jager also said staff is dealing with damage to the Cavendish campground due to post-tropical storm Dorian which hit the province this past fall.

No dogs on the beach

Parks Canada is also reminding Islanders that dogs, cats and horses, are not permitted on the beaches of the Prince Edward Island National Park from April 1 to Oct. 15.

This is done to protect piping plovers.

Beach regulation remains in force despite suspension of visitor services during the pandemic and anyone found with a domestic animal on the beach in the P.E.I. National Park could be fined.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough.

  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.

  • Practise physical distancing.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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