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Ford tells cottagers ‘There will be plenty of long weekends’ to come

In anticipation of May long weekend, Premier Doug Ford is telling cottagers there will be plenty of long weekends to come.

In a statement Thursday morning he stated “we need to stay vigilant” with cottage season just around the corner. He doesn’t explicitly advise cottagers not to travel, but advises focus on health and safety.

He made the statement following a “productive” discussion yesterday with mayors of cottage country about the ongoing impacts COVID-19 is having on their respective municipalities.

“We are still battling a terrible virus, so we are asking seasonal residents travelling to their cottages to practice the same public health measures as usual, including no public gatherings, avoiding nonessential travel as much as possible, and continue to practice social distancing,” said Ford.

Ford also thanked the mayors for incredible work helping to keep the residents of the province safe.

“Cottage country residents are known for their hospitality and normally they would be welcoming tourists with open arms right now,” he said, “This year, however, they are asking visitors to help them fight the spread of COVID-19 and hold-off travelling to these regions until it is safe to do so.

“I know Ontarians are eager to enjoy the great outdoors, but there will be plenty of long weekends to come. Right now, we need to focus on doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians. We’re all in this together and together we will beat COVID-19.”

The discussion comes as Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson’s resolution to seek discouragement of non-essential travel comes before a virtual council meeting this afternoon.

If council agrees, the letter would be sent to Ford, MPP Todd Smith, and Premier Ford asking them to recognize increased risk of the spread of the coronavirus in the County by visitors and possible impact on its health care system and retail operators.

The meeting is set for 3 p.m. Thursday. UPDATE: Council supports province; withdraws motion for further discouragement of non-essential travel

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