The CSRD is asking tourists to stay away over the long weekend due to COVID-19. (CSRD photo)

Shuswap residents, would-be tourists urged stay home over May long weekend

CSRD chair asks people not to jeopardize effectiveness of sacrifices made

Would-be tourists inside and outside the Columbia-Shuswap region are being asked stay close to home for the Victoria Day long weekend.

This request came from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District on Wednesday, May 13.

“Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, all non-essential travel – even travelling within B.C. – is continuing to be discouraged by medical health officers. The best course of action is to stay close to home,” said Kevin Flynn, chair of the CSRD board.

Flynn emphasized this is not the time to pack up the car or RV for a road trip, or to head for your cabin.

“This is the time to stay local and check out all the great things about your home community.”

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A statement from the regional district said staying home is key to protecting vulnerable people from the COVID-19 virus; less travellers and tourists in the area will also help ensure that medical and other essential services in smaller communities don’t become overwhelmed.

The release noted the province is currently in phase 1 of its reopening plan. Phase 2 will take effect after the long weekend; people are encouraged to stay local until phase 3 begins.

“We appreciate all the people who, like us, think our region is terrific and want to visit. Telling people to stay away is a very difficult decision,” Flynn said. “But we do not want to jeopardize the effectiveness of the sacrifices we have all made over the past two months. If we can stay on track, people will be able to explore our region sooner rather than later.”

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CSRD park trails and boat launches are open, but physical distancing requirements remain in effect. The regional district urges courtesy using these facilities, particularly as there may be more demand for them over the weekend.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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