By order of the Prime Minister, Parks Canada closed beaches and public facilities in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve this week in effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. (Nora O’Malley photo)

COVID-19: Ucluelet calls on visitors to postpone trips to the West Coast

“We recommend you delay your holidays until further notice.”

Authorities in Ucluelet released a joint statement on March 19 asking visitors with planned trips to the West Coast to delay their holidays.

The COVID-19 joint statement from District of Ucluelet, Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Ucluelet comes on the heels of Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, the small town’s largest resort, closing on March 18 until further notice.

“As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has requested citizens to stay home if they do not require essential travel, most businesses in Ucluelet have taken the precautionary measure to close for the coming weeks,” reads the joint statement.

“If you have plans to come to Ucluelet in the near future, we recommend you delay your holidays until further notice. Businesses have adjusted their operations and we recommend you contact your accommodation and activity providers to better understand the measures they have taken for their business to keep their guests and staff safe.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort, owned by actor Jason Priestley and family, closed on March 19 as well.

“Although it is a heart-wrenching decision, we all feel it is absolutely the correct decision to keep everyone as safe as possible in this battle against the pandemic,” reads a post on the accommodation provider’s Facebook page.

Ucluelet authorities said their immediate priority is the safety of its residents and staff.

“In the meantime, share your memories of Ucluelet and visit with us virtually through Facebook and Instagram. For those in self-isolation, let us be your virtual stress-free zone. The community of Ucluelet will be here to welcome you when the time is right for travel again,” notes the March 19 press release.

On March 18, national parks across Canada suspended all visitor services, including the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR), located between Ucluelet and Tofino. Wickaninnish Beach in the PRNPR gated access to beaches and closed bathrooms.

The annual Canadian Surfing Championships hosted at Wickaninnish Beach were postponed until further notice due to the National Park closures.

“By order of the Prime Minister, all events and gatherings within Parks Canada jurisdiction are cancelled, including the Rip Curl Nationals scheduled for April 3-5,” reads a statement from Surf Canada.

“We truly look forward to better health of everyone on this beautiful blue planet. Please continue to be risk informed, be diligent in preventing the spread of the virus and be extra good to each other. We are all in this together,” concludes the Surf Canada post.

Image courtesy of Reddit/Darth_Voter



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

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READ: Island Health isn’t sharing locations of COVID-19 cases for privacy reasons

EDITORIAL: Communities have a right to know when COVID-19 arrives locally

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