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Sep 26, 2020 • • 1 minute read
The Quebec government’s demand that half the province avoid travel to other regions is creating a dilemma for hikers and others who want to admire the fall colours.
In a “notice,” SEPAQ, which manages provincial parks in Quebec, asked visitors to “rigorously respect” new sanitary measures and reminded them inter-regional travel is “not recommended.”
Spokesperson Simon Boivin asked Montrealers to “take responsibility” for following guidelines and avoid going to parks “unless it’s essential.”
To be clear, “a visit in a park, it’s hard to associate that with an essential visit,” Boivin said.
Hiking association Rando Québec also recommended people stay in their zone and hike close to home.
“Our message is ‘follow the recommendations of the government,’ ” said Grégory Flayol, assistant general manager of Rando Québec. “Hiking is not mandatory. If you’re in an orange zone, you have to stay in the zone you live in as much as possible.”
Even trips between orange zones is not recommended. For those who decide to travel anyway, Rando Québec recommends minimizing the impact by washing hands, wearing a mask, keeping a two-metre distance and avoiding all contact with others, even though transmission is less likely outdoors.
The crowding of hiking trails is, Flayol said, an “immense challenge” that could be aggravated by the closing of some that are near public lands because of the beginning of hunting season.
Flayol suggested people engage in outdoor activities in their home region, which would also avoid being stuck in huge lineups in popular parks.
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