LONDON, ONT. -- Camping in Ontario parks on Crown Lands will begin as of June 1, 2020.

The Ontario Government is gradually allowing backycountry camping including access points, paddle and portage routes, as well as hiking trails in the beginning of June.

"We are all eager to get outside this time of year, and backcountry camping will give people a low-risk way to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors while following physical distancing rules," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "We’re counting on people to be responsible when enjoying our parks and continue to follow all of the public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19."

No more than five people can use a backcounty campsite, unless they live within the same household.

Backcounty camping includes hiking or padling in park lands and camping in remote areas.

John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry reminds guests that they must work together.

"We have to work together to ensure we open our province in a responsible, cautious manner. We are starting to contain the virus, but we cannot risk undoing all of the progress that we have made by reopening the province too quickly."

Locally, The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and staff at Fanshawe Conservation Area welcome back campers as they plan to reopen at 8:00 a.m on Monday, June 8 for seasonal camping.

Although they plan to reopen, their washrooms will remain closed stating campers are required to use the park's sewage pumping service or hand cart if they do not provide their own sewage dump cart.

Fanshawe Conservation Area is only permitted to let permit holders plus four additional people on an individual campsite.

Ontario Parks manage 340 provincial parks, including 295 conservation reserves.