Tenting, like most issues, is a bit more sophisticated this 12 months

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Camping reservations are a hot ticket this summer, but camping in the age of COVID can look a little different.

While camping is not permitted in the province under the current shutdown restrictions, parks across Ontario accept reservations for later in the season.

“Parks Canada encourages visitors to be careful and conservative with Parks Canada-managed locations, comply with travel restrictions, respect guidelines from public health professionals, and make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep one another safe, ”said Claudia Crépeault, spokeswoman for Parks Canada.

Parks Canada has been accepting reservations for campsites in national parks and heritage sites since April 6th. The regular season for camping in most national parks usually doesn’t start until May.

According to Crépeault, reservations are not restricted by a visitor’s origin, but the agency does encourage visitors to comply with any local travel restrictions or self-isolation requirements.

“Due to the nature of the common and common spaces at Parks Canada campsites, visitors must meet all self-isolation requirements before arriving at a campground. It is not possible to have self-isolation periods at campsites in Parks Canada, ”she said.

Visitors are also asked to arrive independently with a clean travel kit and additional hygiene items.

“Visitors should also bring their own water and food and be aware that local services in many communities are subject to regional or territorial restrictions put in place by the local health authority. Depending on local conditions, services may continue to be restricted in 2021, ”added Crépeault.

With regard to the province-managed campsites, all reservations for campsites, backcountry campsites and covered accommodation in Ontario were temporarily closed on April 3, as the province will be closed until at least May 6.

From January 1 to April 3, there were 323,910 reservations made at Ontario Parks. An increase of 145 percent over the same period in 2020 when 131,929 reservations were made.

“While we cannot currently predict the future impact of COVID-19 on Ontario parks, we accept future reservations beyond the current temporary closure date,” said Lindsay Davidson, senior issues and media advisor for the Department of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“It’s important to note that reservations can be automatically canceled at any time if required by future provincial or regional orders or restrictions.”

Reservations can currently be made for campsites at Ontario Parks starting May and beyond. And similar to Parks Canada, Ontario parks won’t limit visitors based on origin.

“We are confident that Ontarians will continue to pay close attention to public health advice and restrictions in the provinces and regions,” said Davidson. “We know how people love to visit Ontario parks … but we ask that you only visit and enjoy one provincial park near your home. Please do not travel outside of your region to visit. ”

Provincial parks will remain open for local daytime activities, and Ontario Parks will be offering free daytime visits Monday through Thursday from May 1 to September 2.

However, in an effort to address overcrowding concerns, Davidson cautions that daily occupancy may be limited.

“We will take steps to combat overcrowding and encourage physical distancing in our parking areas and buildings during busy visiting hours by limiting occupancy for daytime use and camping in select provincial parks,” he said. “This could include limiting the number of vehicle permits sold each day or the number of campsites available for reservations. You may find that the daytime parking spaces are not as full or that some campsites remain empty during your stay. ”

All shops, visitor centers and equipment rentals in the provincial parks will be closed, but cleaning and disinfection of washrooms and public spaces will continue.

Ontario Parks also noted that ministerial officials will be present at provincial parks to provide information, assist with emergencies, and enforce provincial park rules and regulations, in addition to parks monitored by local police or other law enforcement agencies.

Both Parks Canada and Ontario Parks advise that reservations canceled due to COVID-19 are eligible for a full refund.

Recreational camping on Crown Land is currently also prohibited in Ontario.

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Under current orders under the Emergency Management and Disaster Prevention Act, individuals are currently not allowed to camp or re-occupy tents or other camping structures such as trailers, recreational vehicles and watercraft that are equipped for overnight recreational purposes on managed land the law on public land.

Provincial parks and nature reserves are not included in crown or public areas. However, overnight camping is prohibited according to the current shutdown order.

For more information on camping during the pandemic and a listing of available services by location, please visit Ontarioparks.com or ParksCanada.ca