COVID-19 ESSENTIAL INFO
Please let our content inspire your travels at a later date. The Province is under stay-at-home orders and you should not travel at this time. You’ll have to wait just a little while longer, but The County is ready for you when the time is right! If you have your heart set on a summer or fall visit, we recommend making your plans now. Explore our website for inspiration.
Current Status – Province-wide Shutdown and Stay-At-Home order
The Province of Ontario announced that all regions of the province were moving into a province-wide Shutdown as of April 3 for at least four weeks. In addition, the Province has declared a State of Emergency and issued Stay-At-Home Orders in all regions. Visit the Ontario Ministry of Health’s website for information on rules and restrictions. While we want nothing more than to welcome you to The County as soon as possible, the key takeaway is that you should not travel outside your region or out of the province unless absolutely necessary.
The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit implemented these additional precautions to supplement any provincial restrictions. As of March 30, accommodations, personal services and dine-in food services in The County are not available to individuals who live outside of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.
- Travel between regions of Ontario is not encouraged at this time. There is a Stay-At-Home Order in effect across Ontario, and our local health unit ordered additional precautions as of March 30th that limit what is available to visitors until further notice. No accommodations, dining or personal services are available to people from outside of Hastings and Prince Edward counties. We encourage you to stay close to home now, and plan your Summer or Fall visit in advance.
- If you are planning a visit from another region in the future, please plan for responsible travel by limiting your travel group, limiting contact with others and taking advantage of take-out, curbside pick-up and activities in nature. Travel between regions of Ontario is still not encouraged by the Province, especially from higher-risk zones to zones with lower risk. We’re not out of the woods yet.
- Some businesses are doing more than is required by the Province and the public health unit to keep their customers and staff safe. Please cooperate with COVID-19 protocols at County businesses.
- Face coverings are required in all indoor locations that are open to the public, as well as at farmers’ markets. Masking is encouraged in outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible. For information about face covering requirements visit Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.
- Physical distancing is in effect – All visitors are advised to practice physical distancing whether indoors or outdoors on patios, beaches, parks, sidewalks etc.
- Avoid crowded areas
- Maintain a distance of 2 metres/6 feet from those around you
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is asking visitors to the region to visit their Digital Guestbook to assist with contact tracing.
- The Province has mandated that restaurants, bars and tour boat operators take names/contact info of at least one member of each party. Please cooperate with businesses as they fulfill this public health directive.
- Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer at every opportunity.
- Make a plan and call ahead. Capacity at restaurants, wineries, events and shops is greatly reduced. Accommodations book up quickly in peak season. Some businesses are requiring appointments. Spontaneity is fun, but we don’t want you to be disappointed. Make a plan in advance.
- Wherever possible, make a reservation. Call ahead for takeout or curbside pickup. Check directly with businesses about their hours, services and protocols. Check here for ideas of things to do when we are not in a Province-wide Shutdown, and things you can book in advance.
- During peak summer months, visit beaches in the early morning, evening or on weekdays. Beaches and outdoor spaces are especially busy in July and August and thousands of unprepared visitors are turned away every day. Do not head to the beach without checking these channels in advance:
- Sandbanks and North Beach – Check SandbanksPP on Twitter
- Wellington Rotary Beach – Check Prince Edward County on Twitter or Facebook
- Little Bluff and other Conservation Areas – Check Quinte Conservation for permitted use. Little Bluff is closed until further notice due to overcrowding and other issues.
- Know where the public washrooms are and use them! The County has prepared a map of public washrooms that are open and cleaned regularly. The only four-season public washrooms that remain open are behind the Bloomfield Town Hall and in Wellington Park, with a portable toilet available in Picton’s Benson Park.
- Please respect the natural spaces by:
- Taking your garbage with you if there are no garbage bins nearby.
- Avoiding crowded areas. Take a load off of mother nature.
- Respect closures and capacity limits, they are there to keep everyone safe and to protect fragile natural areas.
- Use public washrooms, or washrooms provided by the businesses you patronize, not the side of the road, the beach, the park, someone’s front lawn…
- Be patient and flexible. We’re all adjusting to a new reality and hiccups, lineups, mix-ups are bound to happen. Be patient and be kind. Everyone is doing their best.
- Consider visiting in the Fall or Winter. The cooler months are gorgeous in The County and the crowds are thinner. Let us welcome you with proper County hospitality when we have a bit more time and space.