VICTORIA -- The western Vancouver Island community of Ucluelet is following the lead of its neighbour and asking visitors not to come to the popular tourist district until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

In a statement Thursday, the District of Ucluelet joined the District of Tofino and asked would-be visitors to suspend their travel plans to the area until further notice.

"Most businesses in Ucluelet have taken the precautionary measure to close for the coming weeks," the statement said.

"If you have plans to come to Ucluelet in the near future, we recommend you delay your holidays until further notice. Businesses have adjusted their operations and we recommend you contact your accommodation and activity providers to better understand the measures they have taken for their business to keep their guests and staff safe."

On Wednesday, Tofino issued a similar statement asking tourists not to come and visitors currently in the area to leave.

Both municipalities are asking travellers to enjoy the area virtually by "visiting" through social media and sharing photos of past visits.

Neither community has put a deadline on their travel bans, saying they continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and look forward to welcoming tourists back in the future.