COVID-19 Updates & Resources
A Message From Your Friends at Algoma Country:
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Not forgetful. In these uncertain times, we’re doing our best to safeguard what is most precious to us. We cannot wait to welcome you back!
Ontario has declared a state of emergency and issued a province-wide stay-at-home order starting April 8, 2021, which has been extended for a total of 6 weeks. This order affects how businesses operate:
- retail, restaurants and food services
- accommodations and campgrounds
- meeting and conference centres
- tour and guide services
- attractions (museums, cultural amenities, amusement parks, gaming establishments.
Please reach out to businesses directly to learn how they can serve you best during this time.
- Gathering limits have been affected
- Crown Land Camping is prohibited at this time
Learn more about Businesses that can open and relevant restrictions by clicking here.
Learn more about Ontario’s COVID-19 zones: www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open
Learn about Ontario’s plan to reopen businesses, services and public spaces as the fight against COVID-19 continues at www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario
It’s important to do our part: this page is dedicated to resources and information about what we’re doing in Algoma Country and Northern Ontario to welcome you back when the timing is right. Your well-being is our number one priority. Businesses and communities are continuously implementing and updating enhanced health & safety protocols, and developing new and innovative ways to ensure you have fun safely.
The information below is to help you better understand the health & safety guidelines and protocols in place by businesses and communities.
Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols
1. The next time you visit, things will look a bit different.
Businesses are learning new ways to serve you during these unprecedented times:
- Welcome signage for physical distancing, cleaning enhancements, current health & safety orders
- Non-medical Masks or Face Coverings required indoors
- Plexiglass barriers to help protect visitors and front line workers
- Hand sanitizer to assist with proper hand hygiene
- Online services such as bookings, shopping, takeout orders and more
- Customer screening (this includes possible symptoms, travel outside of Canada, close contacts of those positive with COVID-19, etc.)
2. Public Health Units in our region have issued mandatory indoor masks or face coverings orders.
You can learn about the orders, and FAQs from each Public Health Unit that services our catchment area:
- Algoma Public Health
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts
- Thunder Bay Public Health
We ask you to please adhere to the mandatory mask orders for indoor public settings. This means you should bring a mask with you at all times. Be prepared to wear a mask in indoor public settings, or outdoors when physical distancing isn’t easy. If you forgot your mask, businesses may be able to offer you one, and some businesses may sell locally made masks.
Do you have any questions or concerns about wearing non-medical masks? Algoma Public Health has Face Coverings Resources that may help you.
Additional Resource: Canada’s public health agency – How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering
3. Sometimes, you may have to wait in line, or make a reservation in advance. We appreciate your patience. Please know that while service may not be as speedy as usual, it’s because the staff is taking the time to maintain a healthy environment.
4. Businesses of all types have ensured all aspects of your stay are considered but are not limited to:
- Arrival & departure whether by plane, train, or automobile
- Check-in & check-out
- Equipment rentals, life vests
- Enhancements to cleaning
- Housekeeping cleaning protocols
- Changes to common areas such as dining
- Guide services, and more
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the new enhancements and protocols. It’s important we hear from you.
Mandatory Record-Keeping in Restaurants, Bars, Boat Tours
It’s important for you to know that as of August 7, 2020, all restaurants (indoor and outdoor dining), bars, boat tours and guide services are required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days. These client logs can only be disclosed to the medical officer of health or a health inspector upon request. This measure is to help with support cases and contact tracing. Please help us keep our communities and businesses safe by doing your part and providing the correct information to these businesses!
What information will you be asked for?
- name and contact information, like a phone number
- contact information for only one person in a party entering indoor or outdoor dining areas is now required, with exceptions
What types of guide services and boat tours will ask for this information?
- Guided fishing and hunting trips, tastings and tours of wineries, breweries and distilleries, trail riding, walking tours, bicycle tours, and other motorsports vehicle tours
Keeping Our Communities Safe
The health of our region’s residents is our top priority. Our region’s communities have taken steps to implement the most current health & safety guidelines in their community. As we work to keep Ontario safe and open, it’s imperative that we follow these guidelines and protocols closely.
To do this, we ask that you respect and adhere to guidelines:
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering when in a public indoor space
- If you are sick, please stay home
- Follow physical distancing guidelines in different types of situations and settings (6 feet apart/2 metres apart)
- Wash your hands frequently
- Follow any other guidelines or policies set by businesses and communities
Be Kind. Please be Compassionate. Please be Respectful. We want to create positive and friendly environments within our communities and businesses.
Recommended reading: How to Travel Safely to Northern Ontario
What’s Open in Algoma
Please Note: Food services, accommodations, attractions and amenities will vary under the five zones of public health measures. Be sure to ask businesses what zone they are in to learn how they can serve you best.
Food Services & Dining
Restaurants, bars, and indoor and outdoor dining services may vary based on provincial COVID-19 zones and orders. Takeout services and curbside pickups can be arranged at many establishments. No matter your preference, you will be able to enjoy delicious food and drink options.
Expect these current restrictions: no buffets, tables spaced 2 metres apart, gathering restrictions and mandatory face coverings required except when eating or drinking only
All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions (for example: to use the restroom).
Rules for Bars, Food & Drink Establishments
Restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments must now prohibit the sale of alcohol at 11 pm, prohibit the consumption of alcohol from 12 am to 9 am (including employees), and close by midnight and remain closed until 5 am (except for takeout or delivery).
Restaurants and Bars can sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders, and can also offer mixed cocktails and growlers with their food delivery or takeout orders.
Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted with restrictions.
Places to Stay
All types of places to stay are open: lodges & resorts, remote outposts, cottage resorts, campgrounds & RV parks, motels & hotels, and bed & breakfasts. There are new policies, guidelines, and maybe some restrictions. Tourism businesses are ready for your arrival and will provide you with the very best in hospitality. Click here: Where to Stay to speak with businesses to plan your future trip.
Attractions & Entertainment
Our region’s attractions can be open with restrictions. Golf courses, marinas, heritage sites, museums, galleries and access to natural wonders are ready and waiting for you. We recommend following attractions on social media for virtual experiences. This is a good way to keep up to date on what’s happening.
Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments are permitted to open with restrictions.
What’s your favourite outdoor activity? Hiking, cycling, fishing, boating, swimming, parks, camping, or maybe it’s something else you love to do. We’ve always been a place to get away from it all and disconnect! We have the vast wilderness, no crowds, and wide-open spaces that you’re looking for.
Retail and Shopping
Permitted to open with limited fitting rooms.
Social Circle vs Social Gathering
We love travelling with our family and friends as much as you do! To make sure we’re following guidance from public health, we want to help you understand the differences between a Social Circle and a Social Gathering.
Social Circle – a group of up to 10 of the same people who can interact with one another without physical distancing, regardless of which stage of reopening their region is in. Social or public gatherings may include different social circles but are subject to gathering limits and physical distancing of at least two metres. Learn more about social circles.
Social Gathering – refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, such as a community event or gathering, wedding, funeral, concert, live show, festival, conference, parade, sporting event, fundraiser, fair, festival, or open house. These settings would be subject to indoor and outdoor gathering limits until the recovery phase.
Update on Gathering Limits For Private Social Gatherings:
Unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas. Be sure to review the provincial COVID-19 zones and orders.
The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province for Green, Yellow and Orange Zones are:
- indoor event or gathering: 10 people
- outdoor event or gathering: 25 people
Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be combined. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.
Physical distancing remains a requirement for those that are not in the same household or social circle.
*The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures for these businesses and facilities, continue to be in effect. These are:
- Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people
- Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people
A two-metre distance (or 6 feet apart) must still be maintained at these events.
The Canada-U.S. border closure has been extended until April 21, 2021. To all our U.S. friends: we miss you and cannot wait until we can welcome you back when the time is right! We will keep you updated on changes in orders.
You can reach out any time with questions and interest in planning a future trip to Algoma Country.
Algoma Country Staff
We’re happy to answer your questions and provide you with the most up-to-date information. Here are the many ways to reach us:
PM – Facebook
DM – Instagram
Start planning your next adventure by ordering our visitor guide or navigating through our website to learn more about how you can enjoy your favourite activities in our area.
Need to reach a travel information centre in our region? Find visitor centres in Algoma by clicking here
Need help navigating Ontario? Our friends at Ontario Travel are happy to help:
Live Chat Available on the website
Toll-Free: 1-800-ONTARIO (1-800-668-2746) toll-free 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday, Sunday and holidays (excluding December 25 and January 1). All hours are Eastern Standard Time (EST).