As Manitobans and visitors make their plans for the upcoming May long-weekend, the province is reminding those who are heading out to provincial parks, campgrounds, or their cottage to follow the advice of Manitoba’s chief public health officer and practise proper social distancing. This is especially important in public areas, such as campgrounds, trails, beaches, playgrounds, washrooms and shower buildings.
Frequent cleaning and sanitization of washrooms and shower facilities within provincial parks will be in place to ensure visitors have a safe and positive experience. However, campers are asked to bring their own supplies, including items such as soap, sanitizer, hygiene products and toilet paper, to campgrounds, yurts and cabins. They are also reminded to pack required prescription drugs and medical supplies, and water shoes or sandals for use in shower facilities.
Campers should buy their park entry passes online ahead of time and be sure to print their campground reservation. At this time, to limit personal contact, reservation holders can proceed directly to their campsite when they arrive. Walk-up customers will still need to check in at the camp office.
A reminder that gatherings of more than 10 people are not permitted at this time and is best to limit interactions to people within your own household. This includes socializing with neighbouring sites.
Manitobans who feel unwell should stay at home, and return home immediately if they feel ill or experience symptoms that may be COVID-19 related. Do not use local health providers unless it is an emergency. In addition, travel is not permitted from southern Manitoba to areas, including campgrounds, north of the 53rd parallel. This is essentially anywhere north of the northern edge of Lake Winnipeg.
Due to the cool spring, some campgrounds may not have all the usual amenities operational this weekend. There is still a lot of snow on the ground at Paint Lake, Wekusko Falls and Grass River campgrounds, so nightly camping will not be available yet. However, the yurts at Paint Lake will be open. Water lines are not ready yet in Big Whiteshell Provincial Campground, which affects modern washrooms and showers. Water will be available from a water tank at the campground office.
Key reminders of what is different in Manitoba campgrounds and cottage country at this time:
• buy provincial park entry passes online before leaving home;
• print campground reservation confirmations and go directly to the reserved site;
• practise social distancing;
• no gatherings of more than 10 people;
• bring supplies of hygiene items such as soap and toilet paper;
• pack out trash when leaving; and
• no travel from southern Manitoba to north of the 53rd parallel.
Conservation officers and park patrol officers will be enforcing the emergency public health orders within provincial parks. Campground attendants and park staff will also provide education and monitor compliance.
Cottagers are reminded to limit the number of additional contacts made as part of their trip. Gather supplies and fuel up near home if possible, and avoid any extra stops along the way. In addition, stay home if feeling sick, because getting ill in a smaller centre could quickly overwhelm the local health facility.
Another important annual reminder for campers is that since the emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Winnipeg, and Winnipeg remains designated as a federally regulated area, firewood cannot be moved out of Winnipeg. Anyone caught transporting firewood could be fined/charged up to $1,300 for individuals or $15,000 for businesses.
For more information on Manitoba parks, visit https://gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/index.html.
For more information on COVID measures within provincial parks, visit:
For more information on being careful cottagers, visit:
Manitobans can stay up to date with provincial parks news, activities and events by following @MBGovParks at www.facebook.com/MBGovParks or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGo