Visitors are being asked to stay away from the Gulf Islands. The Islands Trust Council is making the request to protect from the islands from the spread of COVID-19.

Islands Trust chair Peter Luckham says this is “not the time to be visiting the islands” for a holiday or to check your vacation property. He says the average age on most Gulf Islands is over 60-years and there are limited medical services.

The trustees are also urging Gulf Island residents to stay home and to practice social distancing.

Luckham says first responders on the islands are volunteers, businesses are understocked, understaffed, or closing and BC Ferries has reduced sailings to the Southern Gulf Islands. People visiting island properties from private boats are encouraged to return to their primary residences to reduce the need for medical evacuations.

In the small tourism-dependent of Port Renfrew, a notice has been posted on the community website, asking visitors to stay away. The notice says that Port Renfrew is a very remote and small community with no health facilities and the nearest hospital is two hours away.