Alberta Private Campgrounds are allowed to remain open. How to use Parks and Trails SAFELY during COVID-19

Jolene Kisilevich Announcement, Campgrounds & RV Parks, Camping, Camrose County, Glamping, Highway 16, Minburn County, Seasonal Campground, Vegreville, Year-round Camping

The purpose of this article is for educational purposes to educate our audience, and you the general public about the recent updates regarding the upcoming camping season. While the guidelines here are in place for Alberta, this update is specific for Campgrounds in the Go East of Edmonton region. (East Central and Northeast Alberta)

Please note: AHS can change the guidelines and/or rules for camping for 2020 at any time. Right now we advise you to stay home and stay healthy. You can use this information to plan now, but go later.

May 2020 Update: Alberta Government Guidance for Private and Municipal Campgrounds

April 30, 2020 Update:
Alberta Government has announced an opening-soon plan for businesses. This week we also received an update on guidelines for Campgrounds. With the announcement made yesterday, Private and Municipality operated Campgrounds are still allowed to remain open but will still have to follow the new AHS guidelines in order to operate (see below). Alberta Health Services recommends that only facilities that offer long term (seasonal camping) (greater than 4 weeks) and where the sites are primary accommodation for users should consider remaining open.

Please be advised that these are recommendations and are subject to change.
Campgrounds that remain open should only do so under the following practices (guidelines):

  • Self-contained camping only. Including own continuous water supply (e.g. connected to municipal service), sewage holding tanks or otherwise connected to sewage services, and personal washroom facilities such as RV’s and travel trailers.
    • Close all shared washroom facilities including showers.
  • Laundry facilities must be restricted to a single user at a time and high touch surfaces must be disinfected between uses. Users should avoid shaking of dirty laundry prior to washing.
  • Water fill stations must be controlled by the operator practicing proper precautions.
    Campground capacity limited to 50%, utilizing every other campsite for spacing. Only one camping unit per site.
  • Exceptions to 50% spacing may be considered for properties with sites that are greater than 9 meters (30 ft) wide and for properties where the sites are individually owned or on long term leases.
  • Group camping is prohibited.
  • Common buildings should be closed and recreational activities including but not limited to: playgrounds, swimming pools, water spray parks, water activities, boat rentals, train/tractor rides, hay rides, mini golf, games rooms, arcades, go-karts, amusement rides, gym facilities, and group sports/courts and any rental equipment are prohibited.
  • Organized activities such as bingo, karaoke, exercise classes, garage sales and the use of social halls are prohibited.
  • Social gatherings such as group bonfires, potlucks, happy hour, etc. are prohibited.
  • Beaches to be assessed closer to bathing season.
  • Avoid direct contact with campers (e.g. remote check in).
  • Provide information to campers about social distancing during check-in and check-out times. Post signage with rules and COVID precautions.
  • Residents who are required to self-isolate due to international travel, contacts or symptoms must stay in their RV or on their own campsite/pad.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting must occur according to a defined schedule and following AHS environmental cleaning recommendations. High touch surfaces are a priority for cleaning and disinfection.

Source: Government of Alberta, Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

 

Fire Bans Update: Over the past month fire bans have changed around Alberta and around our region. Always check www.AlbertaFireBans.ca for updates.

*********************************************************************************

April 22, 2020 Update:
Since we posted this article, the Go East Team has spoken to over a dozen local private campgrounds regarding the new guidelines. These campgrounds are planning to put in place preventative measures and follow the new AHS guidelines. If you would like to know more, you should contact individual campgrounds directly about their new policies for health and safety. To find campgrounds in our area visit: https://goeastofedmonton.com/things-to-do/camping/

*********************************************************************************

Updated April 17. Originally posted April 15, 2020. 

What kinds of Alberta Campgrounds are allowed to remain open during Covid-19?
Privately owned and also Municipally owned campgrounds will start to open this spring between early May and late June in our region East of Edmonton.
• Seasonal or long term camping accommodation (of 4 weeks or longer) will be allowed.
• Daily/Weekend Campgrounds that have services may be open if they follow the new AHS guidelines. Campgrounds with no services may not be able to open.
It is important to check and contact the Campground to find out if it is open and what prevention measures are in place. It is the decision of the Campground operator if they decide to delay their opening or stay closed during COVID-19. You will need to contact individual campgrounds directly.
• See below for the update on fire bans that were announced this week.

NOTE: All National Parks are closed till at least May 31. All Alberta Provincial Park Campgrounds are CLOSED until further notice. To learn more visit this link: https://bit.ly/AlbertaParksCOVID-19

What you can expect if you go Camping in Spring 2020:
• There will be signs up promoting Covid-19 prevention measures in effect.
• Contact free or minimal contact registration for Check in and out.
• Social and Physical distancing of 2 metres is mandatory.
You should camp in an RV and use your own functioning toilet, shower, bathroom facilities so you can self isolate.
RVs should be 30’ away from the nearest RV.
• Campsites (or RVs) should be serviced with a supply of water, Power supply and you must have access to a sewer disposal station.
• No tenting should be allowed.
• A No Visitors to your campsite restriction is expected to be in place. No co-mingling of campsites is recommended to ensure social distancing.
Playgrounds, group camping sites, group firepits, events and gathering places are Closed and Cancelled.
• Shared use facilities like Toilets, Showers, self-serve comfort stations are expected to be Closed.
• Operation or use of bicycles, paddle boats, mini golf courses should be prohibited.
• Campground staff are not allowed to collect your garbage or recycling- you need to use the dumpsters and receptacles provided at the campgrounds.

What is the official statement of Camping currently from Alberta Health Services?
In a statement received by the Alberta Health Services (AHS), “all Provincial and Federal Campgrounds are closed as per the order from the chief medical officer of health, but Private Campgrounds remain open for the time being, provided they take appropriate steps to protect workers, volunteers and patrons from infection”.

Only facilities that “offer long-term accommodation for users (greater than four weeks) or where the site is the user’s primary accommodation are being recommended to remain open”, AHS says. “Campgrounds that choose to remain open would be expected to implement strict control measures to prevent COVID-19 spread.”

Supporting links for our sourced information:

CTV article: https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/stay-home-alberta-health-advises-against-camping-on-the-long-weekend-1.4891519?fbclid=IwAR3OjUWpog1Bf_B57tFS0BykzyuJ0qlbg34jyDvJWNudIaqxE0m3LH_zmwk

*********************************************************************************

Go East of Edmonton Campgrounds – Check our CAMPING SECTION with Featured Campgrounds, Destinations and more.

As we find out about Campground openings, closures and other changes, we will update it in our Camping section on our website and follow us for updates on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GoEastofEdmonton/

For specific inquiries or information please contact:
Kevin at Go East of Edmonton at 1-888-632-8755 or info@goeastofedmonton.com
Note: we only have knowledge about campgrounds in our region – East of Edmonton up to the Saskatchewan border.

Subscribe to our E-News Letter to get updates on Camping and other Tourism News in 2020.

*********************************************************************************

FIRE & ATV BANS ON GOVERNMENT LAND – April 15, 2020

There is a FIRE BAN and ATV/OHV Ban in place for Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, as well as Provincial Parks, Crown land and Protected areas. The province is taking measures to reduce the fire risk during the COVID-19 crisis. The Forest Protection Areas affected east of Edmonton are located north of Athabasca, Lac La Biche and Cold Lake. Provincial Parks and Recreation Areas throughout the region are CLOSED and have these bans in place. Exempt from this ban are privately owned and municipally owned land. That means private campgrounds that will open this spring will allow campfires, but you must check www.AlbertaFireBans.ca to know the current conditions in each of the County regions. Note that Lac La Biche County has a complete fire ban as of today, April 15, 2020.

*********************************************************************************

March 20, 2020

It’s important to get outside and breathe that fresh air while social distancing at home during COVID-19. Check out this reference chart for tips to keep you and your family safe while using trails and parks in your community.

#staysafe #stayhealth #stayhome