P.E.I. National Park cracks down on unwelcome visitors during COVID-19

P.E.I. National Park announced Tuesday it is closing access roads to park locations because too many people gathered there over the weekend.

Closing roads in park to prevent Islanders from gathering

The entrance to Parks Canada's Anne of Green Gables National Historic Site in Cavendish is blocked. All parking lots and attractions in P.E.I. National Park are closed. (Brian McInnis/CBC)

P.E.I. National Park announced Tuesday it will close access roads to park locations because too many people gathered there over the weekend.

Officials are looking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they said in a written release.

Last week officials said the parks would close to all but through traffic. It blocked off access to parking lots and put up large signs indicating no parking was allowed.

"This past weekend, many Islanders visited P.E.I. National Park, some of whom were in groups, disregarding parking restrictions and not applying the physical distancing recommendations provided by public health authorities to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus," the release said. 

"We know that many of you have a special connection to these places, but Parks Canada is asking Islanders to stay home to protect themselves, their loved ones and the collective Island community."

'Stay home'

The restrictions will close roads along the scenic North Shore to the public, effective 8 a.m. this coming Thursday, April 2.

Although the National Parks announced last week it was closed to visitors, many people parked along the roadside in the park in Stanhope and elsewhere in the park over the weekend. (Stacy Wyand)

Access to the Covehead wharf will be maintained for local fishermen, the release said. 

"While Parks Canada recognizes that these temporary road closures will limit options for people to be outside to support their physical and mental health, we are implementing these closures to protect all Islanders, especially those who are most at risk," it said. 

"The government of Canada is asking Canadians to stay home."

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.

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