Coronavirus: Alberta’s provincial campgrounds to open at full capacity

Kenney announces campgrounds will open at full capacity as part of Stage 2
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announces provincial campgrounds will open at full capacity on June 12, as part of the province’s Stage 2 relaunch.

Alberta is moving into Phase 2 of its relaunch strategy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and with that comes eased restrictions for provincial campgrounds.

Alberta Parks reopened campgrounds on June 1, but only at half capacity.

READ MORE: Alberta campers ready to book campgrounds for June 1 opening

On Tuesday afternoon, while announcing Phase 2 will officially begin on Friday, Premier Jason Kenney said the 50 per cent limit for provincial campgrounds will be lifted.

“[People] should enjoy the beautiful Alberta summer. They should be able to travel — with observing the guidelines — to get out around the province, to provincial parks where we’re also releasing today the 50 per cent cap on the number of people who can go to provincial campgrounds,” Kenney said.
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COVID-19 pandemic has more Albertans looking at camping on Crown land
COVID-19 pandemic has more Albertans looking at camping on Crown land

Over the next few days, the online reservation system for Alberta Parks campgrounds will be updated. More campsites will come online in phases, according to the province.

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By July 1, the government said all provincial campsites will be open for reservations. First-come, first-served sites may open sooner.

READ MORE: Provincial website slammed as thousands of Albertans try to book campsites

On March 27, the Alberta government announced it was closing provincial parks to vehicle traffic in an effort to increase physical distancing and prevent crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vehicle access to provincial parks reopened on May 1, ahead of the Phase 1 of the province’s relaunch.

Alberta provincial campgrounds re-open after COVID-19 restrictions eased
Alberta provincial campgrounds re-open after COVID-19 restrictions eased

When campground reservations reopened on June 1, sites were open to Albertans only and group and comfort camping remained closed. Those restrictions will remain in place for the time being.

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“We’re not offering group or comfort camping yet, but we’ll continue to assess over the coming weeks,” Alberta Environment and Parks spokesperson John Muir said.

“At this time, reservations are only open to Albertans as out-of-province travel is not recommended and we want to ensure as many Albertans [as possible] can have an opportunity to camp this summer.”

The government said more information will be released on the Alberta Parks website when it becomes available.