Right now, the best vacation is a staycation.
While it may be tempting to take a trip to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) this Victoria Day long weekend, the CSRD wishes to reiterate that everyone should avoid non-essential travel.
"Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, all non-essential travel – even travelling within BC – is continuing to be discouraged by medical health officers. The best course of action is to stay close to home," says Kevin Flynn, Board Chair of the CSRD.
"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."
Staying home is key to protecting vulnerable people from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It also helps ensure medical and other essential services in smaller communities do not become overwhelmed.
BC's Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reminds citizens that the province is still in Phase 1 of the reopening plan. Phase 2, which will see additional establishments reopen with strict social distancing guidelines, does not go into effect until after the May 16-18 long weekend. People are encouraged to continue to stay local until the Province enters Phase 3 of the reopening plan, which may happen in June, if there isn't a surge in COVID-19 cases.
"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," says Flynn. "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."
While CSRD parks, trails and boat launches remain open for use by residents at this time, physical distancing requirements continue to apply. Citizens are asked to be respectful of distancing measures, especially when more people may be wanting to use these amenities on the weekend. Using these facilities in a kind, courteous manner will allow everyone to remain as safe as possible.