The Spit will be officially opened for the season starting on May 15 with pandemic protocols in place, the Squamish Windsports Society has announced.
"The SWS looks to begin operating on May 15 again this year, albeit with some significant changes to the way we operate due to COVID-19 and the precautions that need to be taken," wrote Geoffrey Waterson, the society's president, in an email to The Chief.
"We are working with the District of Squamish and Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure that social distancing is adhered to and community touch-points are removed — and these plans will be continuously updated throughout the summer as COVID-19 guidelines evolve."
While there is no formal ban on kiters using the Spit — plenty of kiters were out over the weekend — the society is asking recreationalists to respect the May 15 opening.
"The SWS discourages kiteboarding prior to the season, but recognizes that it's not illegal," said Waterson in a follow-up conversation.
He cited environmental and safety concerns as the reasons for staying put until the official launch date.
The society posted an announcement recently stating the terms upon which the Spit will re-open to kiting this season.
A society staffer will be at the gate, and will only allow 50 people in at a time.
The announcement says that only windsports society members are allowed to access the area, but Waterson clarified to The Chief that this pertains to people launching kites from the Spit only.
This rule does not mean non-kiters are excluded, he said.
Pedestrians and other members of the general public will be allowed in, but once more 50 people enter — kiters included — folks will have to line up for access.
Another change this season is the exclusion of washroom facilities.
Waterson said that this is because in the middle of a pandemic, it could be a site of transmission. Attendees are asked to keep this in mind when heading down to the area.
"Our intention is to remove community touch-points," he said.
Further details on the new protocols can be found here.