VICTORIA -- One of Vancouver Island's most popular international tourist attractions has closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay announced Thursday morning it would close temporarily, effective at 9 a.m.

"We apologize to, and thank the many visitors for your messages of appreciation for providing a safe, beautiful, peaceful place to come and seek solace in these troubled times," the attraction said in a message posted to its website.

The gardens says it will review the closure in 14 days and update its website with the latest info on reopening.

Several other outdoor attractions on Vancouver Island announced closures this week, including national and provincial parks, beaches and municipal playgrounds, in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus among visitors.