Ottawa, May 15 (IANS) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that some national parks in the country will partially reopen at the beginning of June.
Trudeau said at his press conference on Thursday that his government is working to accommodate Canadians’ mental health while protecting their physical health, Xinhua news agency reported.
He said the decision on reopening the parks will be made in line with the current severity of COVID-19 cases in the regions, while considering their proximity to Indigenous communities. “There will be different phases or different steps in the reopening of national parks across the country.”
Trudeau said it is still hard to predict what the reality of the pandemic will be in the weeks ahead and how it will shape the summer season.
Canada has more than 200 national parks, historic sites, heritage canals, and national marine conservation areas which have been closed since March to prevent Canadians flocking to these locations to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, Parks Canada said there will be no camping or group activities at all national parks across the country until at least June 1.
Trudeau also announced that new regulations on boating are going to be imposed as of June 1. Specifically, no pleasure craft will be permitted to operate in Canada’s Arctic coastal waters, or in the coastal areas of northern Quebec and Labrador, with boats used for essential fishing and hunting exempted.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 73,331 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,468 deaths in Canada.
The number of cases reported daily in Canada has flattened and even begun to decline slightly, though there are variations from province to province. Reopening the country could change that, according to health experts.
The World Health Organization has also warned countries about the risks of renewed outbreaks of COVID-19 when countries are restarting economy.