Vancouver Island campgrounds will be filled this May long weekend by locals

Vancouver Island campgrounds will be filled this May long weekend by locals
WatchCampers say they're glad they'll be surrounded by Vancouver Islander's this weekend

Rathtrevor Provincial Park in Parksville is relatively quiet now.

But in just a few days, it will be filled for the May long weekend.

This year, in light of current provincial travel restrictions, the majority of campers will be from Vancouver Island.

“99.9 percent [from] Island Health. They have to fill out a COVID tracing form with their address on top of registering so if we do find they’re off the island we just record,” said Tara Simons of RLC Park Services.

The park’s manager says people now seem to be abiding by the travel restrictions since provincial restrictions and fines were toughened.

The province also announced earlier this month it cancelled thousands of camping trips booked at provincial parks because of the travel restrictions.

“Yes, we’ve had a few cancellations from mainlanders that kind of thing and they were picked up very quickly by what we would call locals,” said Simons.

This RV was among the first pulling into Rathtrevor Park today in anticipation of the May long weekend.

Nanaimo area residents Clem and Meiry Paquette say it’s their first weekend getaway of the year

“We’re very excited after a long winter at home because of COVID,” said Paquette.

Both say they’ve been vaccinated but they’re still glad they’ll be surrounded by Islanders.

“On the Island, here it’s quite good the case count compared to the mainland so we should leave it this way for a while,” said Clem.

At Living Forests Campground they too will be full this weekend with Vancouver Islanders which a co-owner says isn’t a huge stretch from normal.

“Most people that are coming from other parts of the country or other parts of the world would be coming more in July and August so this time of year it is a lot of locals and I think right now their options are pretty limited on what people can do as far as vacationing so getting out camping is something they can do and they can do safely,” Rob Littlejohn of the Living Forest Oceanside Campground.

The campground operators are just asking visitors to abide by the COVID-19 protocols which remain in effect.

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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