This traditional Nuu-chah-nulth totem pole carved by Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation master carver Joe David can be viewed at Tofino’s Anchor Park. (Westerly file photo)

COVID-19: Tofino asks visitors to postpone trips, return home

“For now, please enjoy Tofino vicariously through images and your memories of past visits.”

The District of Tofino, Tourism Tofino, and the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce issued a joint statement Wednesday morning, March 18, asking all visitors to postpone trips to Tofino for the next several weeks, and for visitors currently in town to begin to make plans to return to home.

Heeding the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, travel is being reduced to essential travel only, and businesses and local services are scaling down operation to serve essential services, so we can all concentrate on our personal health and safety and that of our community members, reads the media release.

Like many other small communities, Tofino has extremely limited health care resources to serve our region. As the window narrows to help “flatten the curve” we need everyone’s help – including the thousands of visitors who love and cherish this area, notes the joint statement.

“For now, please enjoy Tofino vicariously through images and your memories of past visits, and make plans to visit us again when our community is ready to host you and give you an incredible experience,” said Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne in the media release. “This recommendation is temporary only – just as the Covid-19 pandemic is – and we look forward to welcoming everyone back again soon.”

The District of Tofino, tourism and business organizations are closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation, and will reassess this recommendation and communicate to visitors on a regular basis.

“This has been a difficult decision,” said Laura McDonald, President of the Tofino Chamber of Commerce.

“We take pride in welcoming visitors to our community, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Tofino in the near future. I am a local health care provider, and we have to concentrate on meeting the health needs of our communities at this time,” said McDonald.

Guests currently in the region are encouraged to speak to local Visitor Information Services and their accommodation providers with any questions. Guests with upcoming stays are strongly encouraged to listen to all directives from senior levels of government and to contact their accommodation and tour providers to rebook plans.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

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READ: Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight

READ: Canada-U.S. border closing to non-essential travel

READ: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations members stop visitors en route to Tofino and Ucluelet

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