Manitoba campers, cottage-goers should be ‘COVID careful’ on long weekend, premier says

By | May 14, 2020

Manitobans heading to a campground or to their cabin this May long weekend will notice a number of changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province is reminding people heading out of town to practise physical distancing, limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people, bring everything they need from home and to stay home if they’re feeling sick.

Basically, be “COVID careful,” Premier Brian Pallister said at a news conference Thursday.

“Do your part and make sure that you give that confidence to those in the area you’re travelling to that you’re going to be keeping them safe, too, and protecting them as well as you protect yourselves,” he said.

Campers and cottage or cabin vistors can do that by taking everything they need from home, fuelling up before heading out and not seeking medical care out of town unless it’s an emergency, said a news release from the province.

Things like soap, hand sanitizer and toilet paper won’t be available in provincial parks, so people should take those products with them.

Pallister announced Thursday that the province is ramping up enforcement of public health orders just in time for the long weekend.

Conservation officers and park patrol officers will be out enforcing things like gathering sizes and physical distancing within provincial parks, and campground attendants and park staff will be educating people and and monitoring their compliance.

WATCH | Brian Pallister urges Manitobans to be careful this long weekend:

Premier Brian Pallister reminds Manitobans to do their part and stay safe this May long weekend. 1:13

Anyone who is sick or showing any symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home. If people become sick while out camping or at the cabin, they should return home immediately.

Key reminders

A number of things are different at campgrounds and in cottage country at this time. The province says to keep these things in mind:

  • Buy provincial park entry passes online before leaving home.
  • Print campground reservation confirmations and go directly to the reserved site.
  • Practise physical distancing.
  • No gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Bring your own hygiene items like soap and toilet paper.
  • Take out trash when leaving.
  • No travel from southern Manitoba to north of the 53rd parallel, even for camping.

Firewood reminder

Although unrelated to COVID-19, the provincial government reminds campers and people building fires not to take firewood out of Winnipeg to avoid transporting pests to other parts of the province.

The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Winnipeg, and the city is designated a federally regulated area.

Anyone caught transporting firewood could be fined up to $1,300 for individuals or $15,000 for businesses.

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