Parks Canada suspends shuttle services to popular tourist spots amid COVID-19 pandemic

What you can and can’t do at national parks
WATCH (June 1): While provincial parks are opening campsites to the public starting Monday, Prince Albert National Park will be reopening for the first time since the pandemic. Parks Canada breaks down what you can - and can't - do.

As national and provincial parks reopen as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some services in the areas remain unavailable to Albertans.

In a news release on Thursday, Parks Canada said that shuttle services to popular tourist destinations, including Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Lake O’Hara, will not be available this year.

READ MORE: Banff ‘ready to welcome visitors back’ as Alberta eases COVID-19 restrictions

Officials cited physical distancing regulations as the reason for cancelling the service.

“The health and safety of Canadians, visitors and Parks Canada team members is of the utmost importance to the agency,” the release said.

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“Visitors should not expect the kind of experience that they have had in the past.

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“Parks Canada is adapting to the COVID-19 situation and visitor access and services will be limited.”

The shuttle service generally requires a reservation and officials noted that all existing bookings will be refunded in full, including the reservation fee.

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

On June 22, Parks Canada said that limited camping services will be available at some front country and most back country campgrounds in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.

While shuttle service is cancelled in those areas, officials added that campers will still be able to access campgrounds and surrounding trails on foot. Biking is not permitted on the access road.

Any visitors wishing to cancel their Lake O’Hara campground reservation will be refunded in full with no cancellation fees.

Coronavirus outbreak: National parks, historic sites partially reopening in June
Coronavirus outbreak: National parks, historic sites partially reopening in June