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!
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 you’re ready. Your well-being is our number one priority. Businesses and communities have enhanced health & safety protocols in place 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. Ontario is in Step Three of its reopening plan.
Ontario – Proof of Vaccination for Some Public Settings
On September 22, 2021, Ontario patrons will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide proof of vaccination with proof of identification (photo identification is not required) to access certain public settings and facilities. This includes:
- Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities
- Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restaurants, clubs and other similar establishments
- Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces
- Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions
- Includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events
- Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
- Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
- Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
- Certain outdoor settings that have a normal maximum capacity of 20,000 people or more
Does not apply to:
- outdoor patios, take-out and delivery services
- public places where people receive medical care, outdoor guiding services, grocery stores, medical supplies, retail and the like
Proof of vaccination information will not be retained by any business.
For parents and guardians concerned about their children (Youth aged 12 – 17 years) carrying IDs around, the Ontario Government is allowing that age group to use photocopies or photos of their government-issued ID.
Enhanced Vaccine Certificate
Ontario has implemented an enhanced vaccine certificate that contains a SMARTⓇ Health Card QR code that businesses can easily scan at the door.
The Verify Ontario app is used to scan the QR code will only tell businesses if a person can enter their venue or not. The Verify Ontario app does not allow the Ontario government or businesses to track or save personal and identifiable information.
Download your enhanced vaccine certificate by clicking here
All other current public health measures including indoor face-covering policies continue to remain in place.
Resources to Help You
Individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate. Children who are 11 years of age and younger and unable to be vaccinated will also be exempted from these requirements.
Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols
1. On your visit to businesses you can expect:
- Welcome signage for physical distancing, current public health & safety measures
- Non-medical Masks or Face Coverings are required indoors
- Plexiglass barriers to help protect visitors and front line workers
- Hand sanitizer for 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-covering orders.
Learn more and find 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
This means you should bring a mask or face covering with you at all times. Be prepared to wear a mask or face covering in indoor public settings. If you forgot your mask or face covering, businesses may be able to offer you one free or sell them.
For questions or concerns about wearing non-medical masks for face coverings visit Algoma Public Health’s Face Coverings Resources for help.
Additional Resource: Canada’s public health agency – How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering
3. We appreciate your patience as you may have to wait in line or make a reservation well in advance. We ask you to please be respectful to front-line workers at any business and follow all policies put in place to ensure a safe, healthy environment for everyone.
4. Businesses have implemented health & safety measures and policies. Some are, 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
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
*This does not apply to establishments that require dine-in patrons to order or select food and drink at a counter, food bar or cafeteria line and pay before receiving their order.
Keeping Our Communities Safe
When out in communities, please follow current health & safety measures, and additional guidelines set out by the province and businesses.
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
If you’re unsure about regulations when visiting any business, be sure to reach out to them to learn how they can serve you best during this time.
Food Services & Dining
Restaurants, bars, indoor and outdoor dining services may vary. Takeout services and curbside pickups can be arranged at many establishments. You will be able to enjoy delicious food and drink options! 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.
Restaurants, bars, food trucks, and other food or drink establishments
- Indoor and outdoor capacity is limited to the number of people that can maintain 2 metres of physical distance
Food and drink establishments with dance floors (including nightclubs and resto-bars)
- Limited to the number of people that can maintain 2 metres of physical distance with a maximum capacity of 50% indoors and 50% outdoors
- No limits to the number of patrons per table
- Buffets permitted
- Karaoke permitted with restrictions
- Dancing 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 trip.
- On-premise indoor fitness or indoor recreational facilities are permitted to open with a maximum 50% capacity limit
Attractions & Indoor & Outdoor Entertainment, Sports
Our region’s attractions are 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 hours of operation, events, and promotions.
- Museums, casinos and bingo halls with capacity limits
- Cinemas, concerts, theatres, and other performing arts venues with capacity limits
- Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities with capacity limits
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
- Retail with capacity limited to ensure physical distancing
Gathering Limits in Step Three
The Canada-U.S. is open to fully vaccinated U.S. visitors with a negative COVID-19 test.
If you’re a fully vaccinated U.S. citizen, please CLICK HERE for information and a checklist about travel, quarantine plans, testing and borders on the official Canada website.
Steps U.S. Guests Need to Take Prior to Entering Canada:
- Be fully vaccinated by a vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada, at least 14 days prior to entering Canada (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and/or Johnson & Johnson);
- Must have a negative COVID-19 molecular* test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival (view accepted tests); *Antigen tests are not accepted.
- Must be asymptomatic upon arrival;
- Upload information into the ArriveCAN app (App is Free & Secure); Help for ArriveCAN
- All information must be inputted into the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada.
- The app will ask you to input contact information for you and the people you are travelling with, the purpose of the trip, date of arrival, port of entry, proof of vaccination, and your quarantine plan.
- For the quarantine plan, input the location where you will be staying while in Canada.
- Upon arrival, a CBSA officer will ask for your ArriveCAN receipt, proof of vaccination, negative COVID-19 test results and other typical documentation.
- You may be selected to complete a random COVID-19 test at the time of border crossing. The test must be completed within 24 hours, virtually in front of a nurse (be sure you have a good internet connection, your mic and camera are working on your mobile device). If you have further questions or concerns regarding the random testing, please contact the Algoma Country staff at 1-800-263-2546. We can help answer questions and provide guidance for testing.
Lake Superior State University provides COVID-19 PCR rapid tests for those crossing the Canada-U.S. border at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Tests are approved and accepted by the border.
Documentation for border crossings is provided upon completion of the test.
Appointments are required for all COVID-19 tests.
Schedule an appointment by phone (906) 635-2110
Learn more by clicking here
Algoma Country Staff
We’re happy to answer your questions and provide you with the most up-to-date information. 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).