Don’t come to Hope, says local tourism agency

Essential services such as grocery stores and pharmacies need to be reserved for locals ED stressed

The leader of Hope’s tourism and economic development organization is asking non-residents to stay out of the community.

In a post to Facebook Tuesday, executive director of AdvantageHOPE Shannon Jones stated non-residents should refrain from visiting the community and using essential services such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

“With the recent closure of most of our businesses, public facilities, parks and recreation areas, we are reserving those businesses that remain open, for the sole use of our residents,” Jones stated, adding that residents includes those living in the Fraser Valley Regional District’s Electoral Areas A and B where the communities of Boston Bar, Sunshine Valley and Yale are located.

Jones stressed the need to keep essential services for locals only, to “ensure local residents have access to the supplies and resources they need during this time to maintain the highest possible quality of life.”

Hope’s Mayor Peter Robb said having people come through the community is unavoidable, in an address on COVID-19 Monday night. Measures such as highway closures would need to come from the province, he added.

Read more: Hope Mayor urges calm in Monday address regarding COVID-19

Stay away now, come back soon

Jones called for “all Canadians to practice social distancing” to keep communities safe and “be ready to welcome you back as soon as possible.”

Social distancing was also urgently requested of Hope residents in a letter from the doctors and nurse practitioners in the community published Monday.

Jones included a list of facilities which are currently closed to the public. They are:

・Hope Visitor Centre

・Coquihalla Provincial Park

・Kawkawa Lake Park

・Memorial Park

・All municipal playgrounds as well as school district playgrounds

・Public washrooms

・All restaurant dining areas

・Hope and Area Recreation Centre

She asked that the Hope Mountain Trail, Rotary Trail and the Hope bike and skate park be reserved for residents. So far, these areas have not been ordered closed by the district.

The district closed its public washrooms and in-person services at city hall Thursday. On Monday, playgrounds at Memorial Park and Kawkawa Lake were also closed by the district, as was the Kawkawa Lake boat launch.

Help for local businesses

On Tuesday AdvantageHOPE also published a resources package to help local businesses, many of which have closed or drastically changed their practices. The new economic development officer Lyle Downey has also started contacting local businesses, who can also contact him directly at economicdevelopment@hopebc.ca.

Read more: AdvantageHOPE’s COVID-19 business resource kit

Jones ended her post with the words “Stay safe. Stay home.”

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