Two Adirondack chairs on a wooden dock facing the blue water of a lake in Muskoka, Ontario Canada. Canoe paddles and life jackets are on the dock. A cottage nestled between green trees is visible.

This Version Posted: May 21, 2020

Please give careful consideration to visiting your cottage or seasonal resident during COVID-19. Only come if you need to, but remember it’s not business as usual during the pandemic.

You must continue to take precautions against COVID-19, including practising physical distancing and keep to small groups. You are also strongly encouraged to take the supplies needed with you for the time you spend at the cottage or seasonal residence. Be aware that some services in cottage country may also be closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Points to Consider 
  • Provincial and local states of emergency are in place, advising people to stay home and limit travel to only essential trips for groceries and medication 
  • Rural communities have limited health care resources that are already tied up dealing with COVID-19 challenges 
  • Smaller hospitals have few or no intensive care beds, as well as limited number of in-patient beds. This means patients with more serious health problems may need to be transported to larger centres at least an hour away 
  • Rural areas have a small pool of local doctors, nurses and other health care providers 
  • Many year-round residents of cottage country are older adults, who are more at risk of COVID-19 and require the limited resources available in their community 
  • By visiting the cottage or seasonal residence, you could unintentionally spread the virus into the community – putting people who live and work there at greater risk  
  • Many marinas, boat launches, seasonal trailer homes and other recreational facilities are closed due to COVID-19 
By Staying Home, You Will:  
  • Ease pressure on already stretched health care providers in smaller communities 
  • Have access to greater health care resources in your home community if you get sick 
If You Visit Your Cottage/Seasonal Residence: 
  • Buy provisions in your home community before you leave so you don’t have to make stops along the way and can stay put once you arrive 
  • Continue to practise physical distancing. Do NOT use the cottage as a gathering place for multiple or extended families 
  • Develop an exit plan with immediate family if you develop any sign of illness
  • Stay as much as possible to your cottage or seasonal residence for the time you are visiting