Thanks to relaxed border restrictions, Manitobans can finally — as of Wednesday — travel next door to Ontario, and for some cottagers, that means a belated but welcome start to the summer.
Winnipegger Mike Grosvenor told 680 CJOB his family has a cottage on Malachi Lake, just across the Manitoba/Ontario border, and he’s been waiting patiently for the chance to open up for the season.
“If you look on a map, it’s just across the border into Ontario — it’s almost unfair,” Grosvenor said.
“I can’t quite see it from the border but if I could draw a straight line through the trees … it’s right there.
“But I have to go almost all the way to Kenora and backtrack, and then it’s water access only. It makes it super rustic and nice but the fact that it’s Ontario has made it not the greatest thing of late.”
Grosvenor said opening up the cabin is something that’s normally done in the spring, but under the circumstances, waiting until June is better late than never.
“We’re just really excited for the opportunity to actually get out there,” he said.
“It’s your happy place. It’s the place you spend your time in the summer…. You go out there to really enjoy your summer break, and it’s been tough for the last little while for our family.”
Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, said Tuesday that Manitobans — like Grosvenor — who are crossing the border to visit their own property are exempt from the 14-day isolation requirement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when they come back west.
“If you own property, we don’t specify a specific geographic distance, but if you can visit your property and return without having to isolate,” said Roussin.
The rules are a little different for those visiting Ontario who don’t own property there, however. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must still isolate on your return to Manitoba.
“As more and more weeks go by, we think it should become less and less an issue because we want more and more people with that double vaccine and gives them an exemption no matter what,” Roussin said.