VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With Playland set to reopen in Vancouver on Saturday, people are being reminded not to travel to the popular attraction from outside the region.
On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said no one from outside of the Lower Mainland should be visiting the amusement park.
“We do not want people travelling, — travelling to Playland, travelling to any other place for recreation, or vacation right now — and that I’ve made very, very clear,” she said.
“We do know that outside is safer than inside, but we’re at a very challenging a challenging time right now in this pandemic, and now is not the time that we want to see people coming together for recreational reasons.”
The new restrictions combine B.C.’s five health authorities into three regions of the province, with travel between these regions prohibited. The Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions have been combined into one zone. The health order is in effect until May 25.
Re: concerns about people flocking to @PNE_Playland during a time when everyone in #BC is being asked to stay local, Henry says that remains a concern and she does not want anyone leaving communities far away from #Playland heading there. #bcpoli @NEWS1130 #bced
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) April 26, 2021
Spokesperson Laura Ballance says the park has a “robust” safety plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We have taken a number of steps, everything from a significantly reduced capacity, to spacing between the actual seats on the rides, to spacing in the lineups, to masks throughout lines and on rides, to our sanitization program,” she explains.
“We’re constantly in dialogue with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure that any additional protocols, or guidelines, or suggestions, they have are being implemented immediately”
She reiterates Henry’s caution against crossing boundaries to visit.
“We are reminding our guests that we must adhere to public health orders and those orders are very clear that you should not be travelling outside of your health region,” she says.
“If they aren’t from this health region, we are asking them not to come to Playland, to respect the order.”
Playland opened for some of the 2020 season, with limited capacity and Ballance says that shows it can be operated safely.
“We welcomed in excess of 40,000 guests without incident and we’re very proud of that,” she says.
WorkSafeBC says two inspections have been carried out at Playland since July 2020, and they found no issues in regards to COVID-19 safety.
UPDATE: Two @WorkSafeBC inspections carried out at #Vancouver's #Playland amusement park over the last 9 months (one in July 2020 and the other in February 2021) found ZERO issues of concern re: general safety or #COVID19. #bcpoli @PNE_Playland @NEWS1130 https://t.co/DPvQlH2H9O
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) April 27, 2021
For anyone confused about why Playland can open while other businesses have been shuttered, Ballance says the park is similar to other attractions in the region.
“People do need to keep in mind the Playland, like many other venues, whether it be Capilano Suspension Bridge or Grouse Mountain or other attractions are retailers that do have the ability to open,” she says.
“People being able to get out and have an experience with their core bubble in an outdoor attraction or venue is really important and I think that has been supported by health authorities and other stakeholders. We want to be part of that positive experience for people.”
Ballance is also reminding people that tickets are only available online. Currently, Playland is only scheduled to open on weekends.