Provincial parks in Nova Scotia reopen next week with COVID-19 guidelines

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia campgrounds to open at reduced capacity Monday'
Nova Scotia campgrounds to open at reduced capacity Monday
WATCH: Many Nova Scotians are eager to pitch a tent as provincial campgrounds open Monday. As Jesse Thomas reports, for many it’s a chance for a stay-cation – Jun 12, 2020

Staff were busy posting new signs and painting physical-distancing markers around the amenities at at Dollar Lake Provincial Park on Friday ahead of the park’s reopening on June 15.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotians will still be able to enjoy a camping season, but will need to follow a few health and safety guidelines.

“Camping is going to look different this year,” said Sandra Fraser, promotion and development officer with the Department of Lands and Forestry.

“We do have lots of reminders throughout the park, with signage and posters at all out facilities to let people know how it’s being operated.”

Provincial campgrounds will officially open on Monday, June 15, while bookings opened online only this week to reduce face-to-face interactions with staff.

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Twenty provincial parks are open for camping this year, but the spots are going quick.

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“There’s just been a huge demand for campsites, so yes, we have seen a lot more bookings, and a lot of the weekends are booked up,” said Fraser. “But we do have a little bit of availability during the week at some parks.”

According to the Department of Lands and Forestry Facebook page, more than 4,500 reservations were made online in the first 45 minutes.

Due to provincial health guidelines, reservations will only got to Nova Scotians this year.

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“This year is going to be a year where we really encourage people to actually take your vacation at home in Nova Scotia, while at the same time supporting our local economy,” said Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

All provincial parks have reduced camping capacity by 30 per cent to ensure physical distancing, and at Dollar Lake, that means only 78 spots will be available out of the total 117.

There will also be 30 feet between each fire pit, Fraser added.

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