Travelling to Seasonal Residences Carries Serious COVID-19 Risks

Written by Comms Team, April 29, 2021

Short-Term Rentals Not Permitted During Stay-at-Home Order

Peterborough Public Health recognizes that seasonal residents are an important part of our community and contribute significantly to our economy, social activities and cultural mosaic. It is important, however, that everyone remembers that travelling to secondary properties during the Stay-at-Home order carries a risk of spreading COVID-19.

“COVID-19 only spreads when people move, so while we are all under a province-wide Stay-at-Home order, this is not the time to visit the cottage,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “We all want to curb the third wave as quickly as possible, and our community is just starting to see the number of new cases trending downwards. Avoiding all nonessential travel and ride shares within and between Ontario regions is absolutely critical these next few weeks to help us gain control of the provincial outbreak.”

Visits to a secondary residence is only permitted for the purposes of performing emergency services and must be less than 24 hours in duration. Cottage owners who wish to relocate to their secondary residence must plan to self-isolate for the first 14 days in order to comply with the Stay-at-Home Order. Updated guidance for seasonal property owners is available at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or by clicking here.

“Just as everyone is being asked to take a ‘Team Ontario’ approach to the reallocation of vaccines to hotspot areas for the next three weeks, I am asking all residents to follow suit by not travelling to their seasonal properties while the Stay-at-Home order in is effect,” said Dr. Salvaterra. She added that staying home even applies to those who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, as all public health measures must still be followed. “Seasonal homes lend themselves to socialization, and this circuit-breaker will fail if we don’t stay in our primary residence and stick closer to home for our outdoor exercise.”

Dr. Salvaterra also reminded residents and operators of short-term rentals (e.g., cottage, cabin, etc.) that these are not permitted during the provincial shutdown and Stay-at-Home order. This reminder follows a recent incident where a local Air B&B host rented their property to a group from outside the region that resulted in five positive cases and 25 high-risk contacts back in the group’s home public health unit.  This example serves as a strong reminder that indoor gatherings with people who are not from the same household pose serious risks and greatly increase the likelihood of spreading COVID-19. Indoor gatherings with those from different households are currently prohibited.

Further information about the Stay-at-Home Order and current COVID-19 public health guidance can be found at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391