COVID-19: Spring and Summer Activities

Last updated: 1:30 pm EST, May 13, 2020

Spring and summer activities will look different this year, as Ontario continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province plans to reopen businesses, services and public places in a phased-in approach with careful consideration at each step to the presence of the virus. 

Please subscribe to this page, or check this page often, as information is likely to change frequently.

In general, when considering activities this spring or summer:

Beaches
As of May 13, Huron County advises that their local beaches are closed. Please check with the local municipality or provincial park to determine the status of a beach. Respect any signage or directions. Do not go to closed beaches. 
Boating and marinas
Please see the province's latest direction on marinas and boat ramps.
 Camping and campgrounds

See the province's latest information on seasonal campgrounds. To find out if your campground is open and ready for campers, it is important that you call ahead.

Please check the latest information regarding your local conservation area or provincial park:

 Cottages 

Cottage Owners

  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and Huron Perth Public Health strongly recommend that those who own cottages and other seasonal residences should not stay at those residences for the time being, recognizing that there may be limited, essential reasons to do so.
  • The recommendation is based on concerns regarding spread of COVID-19 as well as potential strain on healthcare services, including the ability of people in remote locations to receive timely medical care should they fall ill.
  • Cases of COVID-19 in addition to non-COVID illnesses or other injury could also further strain the local healthcare system. Local essential businesses may have longer waits to restock grocery and other supplies needed for their permanent residents.
  • If someone chooses to go to their cottage or seasonal residence despite the request to not do so, they need to ensure that they follow public health measures, including:
    • purchasing food and medications in their own community before arriving at their cottage and limiting their visits to the local community for essential shopping only
    • physical distancing of at least 2 metres from other people
    • staying at their cottage as much as possible
    • practicing proper hand washing and cough hygiene, including frequent handwashing;
    • self-isolating if they develop symptoms
    • Emergency orders prohibit gatherings of more than five people unless they are all from the same household
  • We ask owners of cottages and seasonal residences to follow these recommendations and orders until the rate of COVID-19 transmission is truly under control and sufficiently low to not pose these hazards.

The County of Huron has also issued recommendations to groups including cottagers.

Cottage rentals

Under the current provincial list of essential businesses, the following applies to short-term rentals:
Short term rentals in rental accommodations booked after April 4, 2020 must only be provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period.
• This does not apply to hotels, motels and student residences.

 Farmer’s Markets/Outdoor Markets
  • Farmer’s markets have been deemed essential and are being allowed to resume operations under strict guidance of public health and for purveying food only (no crafts or gifts).
  • However, not all Farmer’s Markets and Outdoor Markets in Huron Perth have been able to resume. Please check with your local municipality or Farmer’s Market/Outdoor Market to see if they have resumed operation.
  • Public health is working with markets to make sure they have protocols in place to operate safely and protect your health. When you are visiting, make sure that you:
    • Do not visit if you are sick
    • Practice physical distancing – maintain a 2m distance between you and other shoppers and vendors
    • Please wash your hands before you begin shopping and again if you handle cash, cough, sneeze, blow your nose or touch your face.
    • Try to make your purchases as quickly as you can.
    • Do not touch the products - ask the vendor to choose them and package them for you.

If you are a vendor or organizer for farmer's markets, please see our Farmer's Market section in our agriculture page.

 Garage / yard sales
  • Garage or yard sales are a non-essential service and contradict several public health recommendations including physical distancing requirements.
  • At this time, garage and yard sales are strongly discouraged, and if more than 5 people are present would be prohibited. Under the emergency orders issued by the Government of Ontario, there can be no public or social gatherings of more than five people.
  • Several local municipalities have also enacted bylaws prohibiting yard/garage sales.
  • You may choose to sell online:
    • Continue to practice physical distancing.
    • Use contactless payments like e-transfers rather than cash or cheques.
    • Offer no-contact pick up or drop off, such as curbside or doorstep.
    • If you can’t offer a total no-contact, be sure to keep 2 metres between yourself and the other person. Do not invite anyone into your home and do not proceed with transaction if either person is ill.
    • Ensure items are cleaned and disinfected
    • Wash your hands with soap and water often, especially before and after handling any items involved in the sale.
 Golf courses
 Please see the province’s latest direction on golf courses.
 Hunting and fishing
Please see the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters COVID-19 page for updates and FAQs regarding hunting and fishing.
 Parks and fields (municipal)
Check with your local municipality to learn whether a park is open, and how it may be used. Respect any signage or directions. Do not go to closed parks or fields.
 Private pools
Even though COVID-19 does not appear to transmit via pools and hot tubs (CDC), families should be the only ones using their backyard pool. Under the province's emergency orders, you cannot gather with more than 5 people (except immediate family members in a household) and gatherings between households are not recommended.
 Summer daycamps and programs

The decision on whether or not summer camps or summer recreational programming will be able to operate this summer will be made at the provincial level by the Ministry of Health. 

However, some local camps have already made decisions on their 2020 programming.