District of Tofino asking travellers to postpone visiting for ‘several weeks’

WatchOfficials say the area's small Tofino Hospital would be overloaded if people became sick here

For anyone hoping to surf, hike, or relax in the west coast paradise of Tofino in the coming weeks, a change of plans is in order.

The District of Tofino, along with Tourism Tofino and Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce is asking tourists to change any travel plans and steer clear of the Island destination for the immediate future due to COVID-19 concerns.

In a press release issued Wednesday, the District said they are “asking all visitors to postpone trips to Tofino for the next several weeks, and for visitors currently in town to begin to make plans to return to home.”

The District points to the recent travel advisories, restrictions and limitations issued from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with personal health and safety as being the driving force behind their decision.

“Like many other small communities, Tofino has extremely limited health care resources to serve our region. As the window narrows to help “flatten the curve” we need everyone’s help – including the thousands of visitors who love and cherish this area,” said the press release.

District Mayor Josie Osborne hopes the community can welcome people back sooner rather than later, but in the meantime she asks visitors to enjoy the destination through other methods.

“For now, please enjoy Tofino vicariously through images and your memories of past visits, and make plans to visit us again when our community is ready to host you and give you an incredible experience,” said Tofino Mayor Osborne. “This recommendation is temporary only.”

According to the District, they will be closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation, reassess and communicate to potential visitors on a regular basis.

“This has been a difficult decision,” said Laura McDonald, President of the Tofino Chamber of Commerce, “We take pride in welcoming visitors to our community, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Tofino in the near future. I am a local health care provider, and we have to concentrate on meeting the health needs of our communities at this time.”

For anyone currently in the region, they are being encouraged to speak with local Visitor Information Services and their accommodation providers to figure out the best and most efficient solutions to vacate the area.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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