As the weather heats up in Greater Victoria, more people are hitting the beach for some sunshine, but the Capital Regional District (CRD) is reminding everyone to keep their distance this Summer as beaches are getting “overcrowded” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve had a fair number of people visiting the beaches lately. The weather is hot,” said Jeff Leahy, senior manager with CRD Parks. “We are seeing some of our beaches getting overcrowded to the point where it’s very challenging to get that 2-metre social distancing.”
He says the CRD has staff out in parks reminding users about social distancing and putting up signs, but regulating all parks in Greater Victoria is difficult, especially at certain locations.
“Mainly it’s our flagship parks. Thetis is definitely an ongoing challenge, We’ve got Elk/Beaver that can be quite busy and challenging too. Durance is out there and
these are called ‘pocket beaches’ where we have a large number of visitors wanting to go there, but you have very limited beach area, so it’s hard to absorb those numbers and maintain social distancing,” said Leahy.
The CRD is reminding everyone of the importance of staying apart and says if a beach is crowded when you get there, the best idea is to look at using another area of the park or to come back when it is less busy.
As Greater Victoria sees a heatwave this weekend, the region’s senior manager says there is nothing wrong with coming to the beach or into trails if it’s done the right way.
“We encourage you to use the parks, but we want you to be respectful,” said Leahy.
He says places with large beach areas and vast spaces, like Metchosin’s Witty’s Lagoon, are much easier to accommodate more beach users while still maintaining a physical distance.
The CRD will be sending out staff into parks and putting up new signs to remind everyone to keep two metres apart this Summer, as B.C. tries to flatten its curve.