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Coronavirus: Overnight stays at Saskatchewan parks and campgrounds allowed Monday

The reopening of parks and campgrounds falls under Phase 2 of the province’s plan to reopen the economy.
The reopening of parks and campgrounds falls under Phase 2 of the province’s plan to reopen the economy. File / Global News

Starting Monday, Saskatchewan residents will be allowed to camp overnight at provincial parks.

The reopening of parks and campgrounds falls under Phase 2 of the province’s plan to reopen the economy.

“With beautiful weather I know folks are very interested to get together with their families and enjoy the parks, but there has been modifications,” said Gene Makowsky, minister of parks, culture and sport.

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Sites will only be available to Saskatchewan residents to deter people from travelling. Additionally, all long-term, overnight and limited-term stays will have to be booked online.

All parks and campgrounds will be operating at 50 per cent capacity.

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The on-site experience will be different as well.

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Shower and laundry facilities will be closed, and bathroom use will be limited to one household at a time.

All common facilities will remain closed including cookhouses, clubhouses and firewood distribution centres.

Enhanced cleaning protocols will also be in place.

All recreation sites will remain closed throughout summer. This includes swimming pools, beaches, picnic areas, playgrounds and tennis courts. Boats may continue to be launched as long as physical distancing requirements are in place. Equipment rentals are also prohibited.

“Things will be slightly different but you’ll still get the chance to be out there in nature, enjoy campfire and enjoy being with your family,” Makowsky said.

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Any campers who are showing signs of illness will not be allowed in parks and camp sites. Campsites are still available to book online.

Overnight stays were previously banned to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Parks were only available for day use so people could go boating, fishing, hiking and biking.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.