April 23, 2021:– Until May 25, the communities of Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) will only welcome essential travel through the region in support of the Province of British Columbia’s COVID-19 travel restrictions announced today.
This means anyone from a community outside the Sea to Sky is being asked to postpone their leisure or recreational travel to Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and the SLRD until after May 25 or whenever the B.C. government allows residents to travel to other communities for non-essential travel. This includes both day trips and overnight trips to the region.
The B.C. government has brought in travel restrictions effective April 23, and said that travelling to other communities within a health region for recreation or leisure is not okay.
“We urge Lower Mainland and North Shore residents to not travel to the Sea to Sky region for recreation as we work our way back from being a COVID-19 hot spot, and to prevent transmission between our communities,” said District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “Like you, we want to get to the other side of these restrictions so that our local businesses and citizens can welcome you back with confidence and excitement. We ask you to help us get through this last push by making a selfless choice and staying close to home.”
“As Minister Farnworth said, do not go to Whistler or Tofino, even on a day trip. Everyone should stay close to home,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “The Sea to Sky region is united asking that people not visit until after the May long weekend. We look forward to being able to welcome you back this summer.”
“It is with great reluctance that we are asking visitors to stay away right now so that we can welcome them back to our communities in the near future,” said Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman. “We know people enjoy Pemberton’s mountain biking trails, hiking trails and recreation areas and we hope this summer season will be an active, healthy and profitable one for all but that is only possible if people adhere to these new restrictions. We look forward to being able to show off and share with guests our extraordinary valley again very soon.”
“The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is joining our municipalities in the region, and the Province, in reminding people that now is not the time to travel,” said Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Board Chair Jen Ford. “If we are to be successful in slowing the spread of COVID-19, we must all take a step back, and exercise extreme caution. Some of our municipalities in the SLRD have been hard-hit with surges in COVID-19 cases, and our rural communities, from Porteau Cove all the way to the Bridge River Valley, face significant risk of exposure with increased visitation to the area. When the time is right, we will welcome visitors back, but now is not the time.”