Having closed mid-March to help curb the spread of COVID-19, Canada will allow camping again at a number of its national parks and historic sites from 22 June. Only those with existing reservations will be permitted initially.

This move comes three weeks after many parks re-opened on 1 June, although their camping facilities remained closed. After the initial opening period, Parks Canada will gradually begin to accept new online reservations for some campgrounds over the coming weeks. Due to current travel restrictions, existing reservations from international visitors up to 7 August – including visitors from the US – will be cancelled and automatically refunded.

Kayaker on the Bow river near Banff
Visitors will have access to some recreational boating © Alexander Chlum/Shutterstock

Canadians who plan to travel outside of their home province to visit a Parks Canada destination must follow the applicable travel restrictions. Some provinces and territories allow only essential inbound travel at this time, while others require that outside visitors follow a self-isolation protocol. On that note, it is not possible to self-isolate at Parks Canada campgrounds.

The camping experience at Parks Canada will be different than in previous years, as roofed accommodations, such as yurts, will only become available at select locations later in the season. Visitors will have access to some trails, day-use areas, green spaces, and recreational boating. “As the summer arrives, our national parks and historic sites offer spaces where Canadians can enjoy the outdoors while also respecting the advice of public health experts to keep a safe physical distance from others," says environment and climate change minister, Jonathan Wilkinson.

The Parks Canada website here provides detailed information on what locations are open, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for a visit and what services may be available.

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