The May long weekend is often a popular time for cottage goers. Whether it’s opening it up for the season, or just spending a long weekend relaxing, many Nova Scotians take advantage of their secondary properties this time of year.
But this year, thanks to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotians are being told to stay put.
“Chose one place and stay there,” said Dr. Robert Strang.
If Nova Scotians own a property or seasonal campsite outside their municipality, they can still use it by making a one-time trip and living there for the coming weeks rather than their primary home, but Strang says there are to be no back-and-forth trips.
Some cottage owners say the rules are frustrating.
“I would think being able to go to your cottage is not like anything else, because you could load up on groceries in HRM, drive straight to your cottage and be completely self-sufficient.”
Livingston points out that there could be less risk when people are at their cottage as they’re farther away from high-density areas where community spread is happening.
“They’re taking themselves out of the pool of risk that they’re in when they’re in the city and maybe running around doing more errands.”
Dr. Strang was firm on his messaging on Wednesday that travelling to cottages is unnecessary and not allowed.
“Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to care for each other.”
While cottages are off limit, unlike last year, parks, trails and beaches are open.
“You’re allowed to travel to them only within your community to access,” said Strang.
While Halifax Regional Municipality has a vast network of trails and numerous beaches, HRM residents are encouraged to stick to what’s closest to them, though some say that’s not always happening.
“Pretty unlikely,” said Chris Wilkenson who lives in the Sambro area near Crystal Crescent Beach.
“Definitely on the weekends if it’s sunny, it’s very busy here, no question. I think there would be a lot of people coming in from Halifax.”
Because the beach is within the Halifax Regional Municipality, it’s not illegal for residents of HRM to go to, but it does go against the intent of the order.
While the Public Health Order defines community as your own municipality, Dr. Robert Strang has previously said for larger municipalities like Halifax, people shouldn’t be travelling outside their own smaller community.
“Don’t go across your the municipality just because you can,” he said on April 28. “So if you live in my community of Fall River stay in Fall River.”View link »