Canadian Coast Guard asks recreational boaters to avoid non-essential trips this long weekend
Canadian government organizations are asking boaters to refrain from making unnecessary trips this long weekend: (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- Several government organizations and B.C. coastal communities are asking boaters to refrain from non-essential trips this Victoria Day long weekend.
The Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Armed Forces, Canada Border Services Agency, Indigenous Services Canada, Parks Canada, RCMP, Destination BC, the United States Coast Guard and more will be working together this long weekend and throughout the spring to make sure that waterways are safe and that COVID-19 health guidelines are being met.
The guidelines include physical distancing and avoiding unnecessary trips if possible.
In a joint statement, the organizations listed above asked that recreational borders limit the time they spend in small communities, or avoid trips altogether.
On Wednesday, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said that anyone who is planning to go camping or visit a smaller B.C. community should prepare for the trip by bringing their own food and supplies, so that they can minimize contact with the community.
“The way we can help each other right now is to not engage in non-essential travel,” said Dix on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government says that it will be monitoring the Canada-U.S. border during the long weekend and throughout spring.
Border restrictions between the two countries are in place until at least May 21.
“Boaters travelling across international borders for non-essential purposes, including recreation and tourism, will be turned around,” said the federal government in its joint statement.
Any sailor who does enter Canada on an essential trip is being reminded that they must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
The federal government is also stressing that anyone who is feeling sick should not get on a boat this weekend. If someone does feel unwell and requires help in a marine emergency, first responders ask that you let them know if you have any flu-like symptoms before they arrive.
On Wednesday, Tourism Ucluelet issued a reminder saying that the west Vancouver Island community was not accepting visitors at this time.
“Please stay home and follow the advice of health authorities,” said Tourism Ucluelet.
“Ucluelet looks forward to welcoming you back soon.”
Ucluelet, Tofino and other coastal communities have been asking visitors to stay away since March.
The effects of COVID-19 on a remote B.C. community were sadly shown on Cormorant Island, a Gulf Island that battled a coronavirus outbreak last month.
At its worst, the virus spread to 30 people in the Village of Alert Bay and sadly claimed the life of one woman.
The outbreak has since come under control.