BIG NEWS / Recovery / The Wedge / Vancouver

Vancouver Starts Reopening With Golf Courses and Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, B.C. Photo by City of Vancouver

By theWedge.LIVE

This May 1st, a few places are opening up in Vancouver with peculiar limitations.

Nevertheless, it’s encouraging that locals can engage with at least three places within the city; but, we expect the demand will exceed the reservations available. Yes, you read that correctly. All users and visitors must pre-book online to gain access to these venues.

Yet, you can still feel liberated from the confines of your home. It’s a start.

The websites for booking: Fraserview and McCleery golf courses and VanDusen Botanical Garden .

“The sites will operate with new physical distancing procedures for users and staff to ensure a safe experience,” the Vancouver Park Boards states. The list of restrictions are granular and odd. It is what it is as the health boards rule over our movements at this time.

The city’s aim was to provide hundreds of acres of green space for the community. Each of the sites is highly supervised, attendance is managed, and their facilities allow for new physical distancing protocols.

New mandatory golf-specific physical distancing protocols at Fraserview and McCleery include:

  • All bookings will be completed online, with payment on site, no walk-ups allowed.
  • Golfers will be asked to arrive at the course no more than 20 minutes prior to tee off, and to remain in their vehicles (no congregating) until they are ready to pay and play. They will be directed to leave immediately after completing their play.
  • Access to the golf shop will be limited to two guests at a time.
  • Food and beverage services will remain closed and contactless pay will be required (debit and credit only, no cash.)
  • Golfers will tee off at 18 minute intervals (half as many tee times as normal) which will result in a maximum of 12 golfers teeing off per hour.
  • A single rider cart policy has been implemented with all carts being sanitized in a designated area between use. Pull carts will be sanitized for every user. No rental clubs will be available.
  • All frequent touch points, such as bunker rakes, garbage can lids, sand bottles, ball washers, and shoe blowers, have been removed from the courses.
  • Flag sticks will not be touched. Cup fillers will prevent the ball from going to the bottom of the hole for touchless retrieval.

For those who do not golf, these will still be welcome on the courses from dawn until 8 am on the back nine holes providing the community access to nature and green space. For a full list of COVID-19 protocols and changes to the courses visit Vancouver.ca/golf.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, B.C. Photo by City of Vancouver

At VanDusen Botanical Garden, the following measures will be put in place:

  • Online ticket sales only, to limit contact on site.
  • Visitors and Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA) members will be required to book an entry time slot in advance.
  • Hours of operation will be modified to provide the safest visitor experience. The Garden will open to the public Monday – Friday, 10 am – 7 pm, and from 9 am – 7 pm on weekends. VBGA members will have morning access from 9 – 10 am, Monday – Friday.
  • A maximum of 30 visitors will be permitted in each time slot (every half hour).
  • Select facility features will be closed (such as the gift shop and cafe), some pathways will be marked as one-way, and guided tours will not be available.
  • Visitors will be required to maintain a two-metre distance from others at all times.
  • Enhanced and rigorous cleaning protocols will be implemented at all shared services (washrooms etc.).
  • One individual/household will be permitted in the maze at a time; the maze will be staffed to ensure compliance with this restriction.

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