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With countries and popular destinations gradually opening up, national parks across Canada are also opening their doors. The country’s most famous and busiest national park, Banff officially reopened to visitors on June 1.
The park will reopen in gradual phases with first being opened for day use. Physical distancing will the prime focus upon reopening. Parking will be restricted to designated areas. Vehicles will also be restricted in the east section of the Bow Valley parkway, however, it can be accessed by cycling or on foot.
The park will now look different in terms of meeting and new health and safety standards. The aim is to minimise crowding where physical distancing norms can be practiced by visitors.
Only those places and activities will be available where health and safety risks can be managed.
According to Banff’s website, ‘Access will be focused on the resumption of autonomous day use of trails, grounds, and other outdoor settings and include the continuation of critical services and the gradual resumption of some key field-based ecological and cultural protection activities.’
‘Visitors have to be cautious and conservative in their use of these places to to observe travel restrictions, respect closures, follow the guidance of public health experts, and to make every effort to keep one another safe,’ added the website.
The park will also see officials managing parking areas and helping to provide up to date information to visitors. Group activities and public events still remain prohibited until further notice. Camping is also off the charts until at least June 21. However, the ones already booked prior will be cancelled and refunded in full.
Banff, in Alberta, is the most frequented national park in Canada with close to four million annual visitors. It has been off-limits for visitors since mid-March. Along with Banff, the Pacific Rim and Cape Breton Highlands also reopened on June 1.
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