N.W.T. campgrounds to open for camping soon, but under COVID-19 restrictions

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Starting Wednesday the N.W.T. campground reservation system will be available, and campers will be able to book spots for as soon as Friday at most campgrounds, according to a press release from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

But those bookings will come with restrictions under the direction of the office of the chief public health officer.

According to Drew Williams, a departmental spokesperson, shower and cooking facilities will remain closed. Most parks will operate at full capacity, but users are asked to treat campsites as if those sites were households, and to limit larger outdoor gatherings to day-use areas at campgrounds. Those day-use areas, like beaches, remain limited to gatherings of no more than 50.

Reservations for Fred Henne Territorial Park will open on Thursday at 10 a.m. As a precaution, eight camp sites at Fred Henne will not be in rotation.

Williams added that extended stay draws for the Prelude and Reid Lake campgrounds will not happen this year.

He said the department couldn’t say when shower and other facilities would be available. He said that would depend on direction from the chief public health officer.

Until now, overnight camping at campgrounds in the territory had been prohibited under COVID-19 precautions. The lifting of restrictions is part of Phase 2 of the territory’s reopening plan, which may be enacted as soon as Friday.

“In the event that the anticipated move to Phase 2 is delayed or cancelled, all bookings that cannot be fulfilled will be refunded,” the news release says.

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