B.C.’s summer is starting to look more fun, but premier cautions against non-essential travel

If everything goes as planned, British Columbians will soon have more opportunities for socializing and outdoor recreation, but the danger of spreading COVID-19 is still too high to travel for fun.

Provincial parks will begin reopening for day use on May 14 and work is underway to safely restart some recreational sports leagues, Premier John Horgan said Wednesday.

But travel to second homes and vacation spots is out of the question for the Victoria Day long weekend.

“Every corner of B.C. is spectacular,” Horgan said. “Wherever you live is an outstanding place. Stay there and enjoy it.”

He added, however, that it might be safe to visit other communities later in the summer. Even then, Horgan said travellers should be considerate of people who live in small communities and might be concerned about the potential strain on their health-care resources.

Watch: B.C. premier advises against non-essential travel

Even though COVID-19 restrictions will ease, Premier John Horgan says British Columbians should stay local and enjoy their corner of the province this long weekend. 1:25

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there will be more opportunities for spending time with small groups of up to six by next weekend, though.

“If things continue to go [the way they are] … by the long weekend is the time when we will be able to go out and hug our family,” she said.

According to Horgan, the B.C. Parks and Recreation Association is working behind the scenes to find ways that summer camps and kids’ sports can happen this year.

Overnight camping in provincial parks is expected to resume sometime this summer.