B.C.’s campground reservation website crashed repeatedly shortly after it opened to the public at 7 a.m. on Monday, as the vast majority in the province face limited options for a summer vacation under the coronavirus pandemic.
With more than 800 reservations processed in the first 30 minutes, social media users were venting their frustrations at slow load times, crashes and getting kicked out of the system.
Most campgrounds and recreation sites are set to open June 1, and to B.C. residents only this year.
Any non-B.C. residents who make a reservation will be subject to immediate cancellation without a refund. Non-residents are urged to cancel any existing bookings.
The policy is aimed at backing up advice from health officials who have been urging people to stick close to home during the pandemic.
B.C. residents get preferential access to parks and campgrounds this summer
“We want to ensure British Columbians have access to summer vacation opportunities close to home, so we are limiting new reservations to B.C. residents,” Environment Minister George Heyman said in a release on Monday.
The province has added 180 new campsites this year.
To allow for physical distancing, some campgrounds will open later, have fewer sites available, and change which services and communal facilities they offer.
Hot springs, backcountry communal cabins and campgrounds where users must share cooking facilities will remain closed, as will group campsites.
More parks will open for day use on June 1 as well. Playgrounds, halls and picnic shelters will remain closed in provincial parks.
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