Alberta Health Services (AHS) reports zero active cases in Banff, with the total of four cases recorded in Banff to date as being recovered. With the reduction in provincial cases overall, the Town of Banff signalled the return of regional visitation last week, with gradual increases in business activity, in alignment with Parks Canada’s staged resumption of services and access in Banff National Park this week.
“We’re ready to safely open our doors to visitors because the Banff community has diligently followed health protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19 over the last several months. Their personal and professional sacrifices have paid off as we already have about 50% of our businesses and services back open with some level of service,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen.
“I am confident the extra time and measured approach we have taken will protect the health of our community, and may make Banff one of the safest destinations in the world – if we all continue to take safety measures seriously.”
Banff Ave Pedestrian Zone
On Friday (June 5), the town will implement its most visible safety measure, when it closes two blocks of its main street in the downtown core to vehicle traffic in order to provide more space for people to maintain the required two-metre social distancing from others not from the same household. Scheduled to be in place until September, the closure will re-route all traffic in the core.
The Town has worked closely with AHS to create the Banff Avenue Pedestrian Zone, which also provides businesses with extra space in the public zone for customers. Restaurants and stores have limits on interior occupancy in order to adhere to provincial distancing requirements, and the additional exterior space will assist in customer safety. (Info on the pedestrian zone: banff.ca/BanffAve)
The Town is also installing hand-sanitizing stations at more than 20 locations in the main area of town, and additional signage to remind everyone of the need to maintain social distancing and continue with personal health measures, for everyone’s safety.
Safety assistance and certification for businesses
The Town of Banff has teamed up with the Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association (BLLHA), Banff & Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT), and AHS to provide resources and assistance to help businesses implement the highest standards of COVID-safety and customer service. The support includes:
The Town is also providing free, customized “We’re Open” signs for the doors/windows of interested businesses. The signs show a logo, the services offered and contact info or hours, and highlight the safety measures that the business is implementing. To request a sign and a listing on the banff.ca/OpenInBanff website, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit banff.ca/covid.