The Town of Banff stated that they remain in a State of Local Emergency, and that they are not ready for visitors to return yet or over this May long weekend.
Parks Canada, Town of Banff, Banff and Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT) and Banff and Lake Louise Hospitality Association (BLLHA) said they will continue to work together with the community to safely and effectively reopen the economy and resume services for visitors, but not until June.
“We know people may be eager to adventure this long weekend, but we are asking for some more time to work together as a community in order to welcome visitors again,” said Leslie Bruce, President & CEO of BLLT. “We want to protect this special place in the Rockies and that means reopening when we can ensure our community and visitors can be kept as safe as possible.”
Many businesses remain closed in the town of Banff and while getting ready to reopen, they need more time to hire and train staff, and put in place health and safety measures as required by Alberta Health Services. Changes to the service offer in Banff National Park as a result of COVID-19 remain in effect until further notice. Facilities are closed and camping, group activities and events are suspended until at least May 31 as are visitor services and vehicle access to many of the secondary roads and trailhead parking lots. Services within the town of Banff are very limited.
“The Town of Banff is working on implementing measures in public spaces to enable safety protocols, such as physical distancing requirements,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorenson. “We are aiming for next month to start to welcome visitors again, but we need this time to prepare appropriately.”
“While we may not be able to experience Banff National Park in person right now, adventure seekers are invited to explore from home. See this backgrounder for ways to explore Banff and Lake Louise virtually. From Zoom backgrounds to virtual forest therapy walks and 360 experiences, there are so many ways to bring the mountains home to you.”
To help Banff and Lake Louise thrive again, people can support local businesses: Banff Yoga Practice is offering an online class pass that grants wellness enthusiasts access to an array of classes. Find transformation and inspiration through yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Banff-based Park Distillery is now producing hand sanitizer, which is available to individuals or wholesalers. For more information on online retailers, and to shop Banff from home, visit the Town of Banff or YourBanff.com.