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Photo: James Morgan

Government-run parks are reopening for camping and cabins in Québec, but there are new rules

The Société des establishments de plein air du Québec (Sépaq), which operates government parks and wildlife reserves throughout Québec, has obtained all the necessary authorizations to reopen its campsites, chalets, ready-to-use units in a safe and progressive manner as of June 1. Outdoor enthusiasts who already have a stay reserved will be informed by a newsletter of the new parameters to apply. For all those who dream of a corner of nature and wish to plan a stay, online booking is preferred.

“Sépaq had the green light to open the doors of its accommodation and campsites to people from the same family unit. A series of public health approved protocols and health measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and employees, said President and CEO of Sépaq, Jacques Caron.

The national parks, wildlife reserves and tourist establishments of Sépaq will give back access to its non-hotel accommodations, campsites, and certain services as quickly as possible beginning June 1, depending on the operational capacity of the staff teams at each facility.  For updates, go to www.sepaq.com/covid-19.

Most of the territories managed by Sépaq began their gradual reopening on May 20, 2020 but only allowed hiking, biking and day fishing.

All park fees and registrations must now be pre-paid online.

Restricted access to family units

Only people from the same family unit will be able to access the accommodations, including campsites, for the moment.

The person responsible for the reservation will receive communication informing them of the new parameters. Reservation holders must call Sépaq if they cannot adapt their plans to public health guidelines. It will be possible to modify or transfer reservations or to obtain a refund.

Although this is not a complete return to normal, the resumption of stays in nature represents a breath of fresh air for outdoor enthusiasts.

Sépaq has carried out a vast review of its plan to ensure that it can be carried out safely and in accordance with the instructions. This has led to the development of a set of mitigation measures and protocols which have been approved by public health and by the CNESST workplace health and safety agency. Here are a few examples:

Cleaning and disinfection of buildings will be increased.

In bathroom buildings, building capacity will be restricted, Plexiglas will be added between sinks if necessary, hand washing devices will be added.  Drinking fountains will be out of service, except for bottle filling.

In service buildings, reception capacity will be reduced, there will be management of waiting area traffic, and disinfectant dispensers are being added.

Park registration will be online only.

To find out more about health measures, planning your stay and the best behaviors to adopt: www.sepaq.com/covid-19.