/Resorts may open with safety protocols in place 

Resorts may open with safety protocols in place 

By Chad Ingram 

appears that cottage rental resorts in the county may open for
business under provincial guidelines as long as they abide by proper
protocols, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
said, that information being sent to county accommodators by the County
of Haliburton last week.
During a May 27 county council meeting,
there was some discussion about how private, short-term rentals of
cottages were taking place when they weren’t supposed to be, while
cottage rental resorts kept their doors closed to abide by the
province’s emergency orders amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
rentals are supposed to be not operating, but they are,” said Algonquin
Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt at that meeting. “I’m getting an awful
lot of complaints and concerns from people who are saying that the
rental place next to them is, you know, full of two or three families
every weekend.”
Moffatt, who pointed out that motels and hotels have
been allowed to operate, creating what she said was an unfair playing
field, said she’d been trying to get clear answers from the province for
a couple of months, including through conversations with HKLB MPP
Laurie Scott.
“I’ve been pushing to get an answer on short-term
rentals since the beginning of this, but there really is no clear
answer,” she said. “ … We have many small businesses that are abiding
by the provincial orders that are affected by the situation, and some of
them are admittedly facing catastrophic losses.”
Other councillors
shared Moffatt’s concerns, and it was resolved the county would write a
letter to the province seeking greater clarification,
However, on
May 29, after corresponding with the HKPR District Health Unit, county
tourism director Amanda Virtanen sent an email to the county’s
accommodators indicating that resorts may be considered “shared
accommodations,” which are qualified as essential services under
emergency orders from the province. The health unit indicated that
resorts in other parts of its jurisdiction, as well as in other health
unit jurisdictions, are operating. Resorts must operate with the same
health and safety protocols and preventative measures in place as motels
and hotels.
“After much lobbying for a level playing field for
accommodation businesses in Haliburton County, I’m thrilled to learn
that permission has been given for cottage resorts to open,” Moffatt
wrote in a social media post on Friday. “Operators must still comply
with public health recommendations and other provincial requirements but
this is great news. It’s been very difficult to hear the personal
stories of accommodators who have feared the loss of their businesses
and livelihoods.”