Camping on Crown land and in Ontario parks restricted and here are the new rules
Crown land camping in Ontario has become an incredibly popular pastime thanks to pandemic-related travel restrictions, but camping in both provincial parks and on any Crown land is now forbidden as a result of the worsening COVID-19 situation in the province.
And it has some people wondering why outdoor activities, which are said to be mostly low-risk, are now being restricted.
The province announced Thursday that camping on Crown land, which is legally owned by either the federal or provincial government, is prohibited starting today until further notice to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
As of April 16, 12:01 a.m., recreational camping on Crown land will be prohibited to help stop the spread of #COVID19.— Ontario MNRF (@ONresources) April 15, 2021
Remember to follow the advice of public health officials and stay close to home. https://t.co/o3qVmvbkqf pic.twitter.com/in125b6nmD
Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, residents are not allowed to "camp for recreational purposes on public (Crown) land administered by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry under the Public Lands Act," nor can they "occupy tents or other camping structures, such as trailers, recreational vehicles and watercraft equipped for overnight accommodation."
Camping in provincial parks was already prohibited by the province's most recent stay-at-home order.
Overnight stays for all camping and in roofed accommodations remain closed until further notice.— Ontario Parks (@OntarioParks) April 16, 2021
"During the current provincial stay-at-home order, overnight stays including campgrounds, backcountry campsites and roofed accommodations in Ontario Parks will remain closed until further notice in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and support Ontario's further provincial restrictions," says Ontario Parks.
"We understand this temporary closure of overnight stays in provincial parks may impact your plans, however, the health and well-being of Ontarians is our number one priority."
And impact people's plans it likely has, as campers made a whopping 58,475 reservations at Ontario Parks campsites in just the first few weeks of 2021.
Outdoor daytime activities such as walking, hiking, biking, birdwatching and fishing are fortunately still permitted at many provincial parks, and the same goes for these activities on Crown land.
Limiting your travel is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19, staying safe and saving lives.— Ontario Parks (@OntarioParks) April 16, 2021
Ontario Parks remain open for day-use as a way to spend time outdoors, get fresh air and for physical and mental health.
But Ontarians are being asked to only visit provincial parks or conservation reserves close to home in order to limit non-essential travel, and residents taking part in outdoor daytime activities are also required to practice safety measures such as physical distancing and wearing a mask when required.
Another example demonstrating how incompetent the entire @fordnation government is. This decision is entirely for optics - to make it appear they are doing something without spending a cent. @fordnation - tell us of one case of COVID being acquired or spread on crown land?— J. Smith (@JodieSm38552439) April 16, 2021
Some residents have meanwhile been criticizing the restrictions on camping since outdoor activities are generally much safer than being indoors.
How. The flying fuck. Will this do anything. Are there outbreaks related to back country isolated camping we don't know about?— daanis 🔥👊🏽💃🏽 (@gindaanis) April 16, 2021
Unlike the outbreaks related to workplace settings that we do know about. But yeah. Camping in crown land. https://t.co/Xtp2L1AlWY
Ontario reported a record-high 4,812 new cases on Friday, but there is no evidence to suggest that any outbreaks have been caused by those going camping and spending time outdoors.
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