After all the hullaballoo – “the tourists are coming, the tourists are coming” – now that the dust has settled, it seems Elgin County’s first long weekend of 2021 did not really live up to all the hype.
Sure, the beaches were full – generally within COVID-19 safety standards – but most businesses were closed and judging traffic levels, many people stayed home, out of respect for Ontario’s Stay-at-Home Order, effective to June 2, 2021.
“From all reports the weekend went relatively smoothly, nothing markedly different from any other warm long weekend,” said Lloyd J. Perrin, Central Elgin Director of Asset Management and Development.
Elgin County’s beaches remained opened for the Victoria Day weekend, but social distancing, face coverings, and limited outdoor gatherings were still the order of the day.
Dustin Allen, Por Stanley Business Improvement Area (BIA) chairman, said it was virtually a “ghost town” in the county’s Lake Erie playground community.
“For the most part it was a fairly quiet weekend for Elgin County OPP officers,” said OPP Constable Troy Carlson. “Police responded to 12 calls for service in Port Stanley over the long weekend, (with) no COVID-19 complaints received for the Port Stanley area.”
Carlson said the OPP conducted R.I.D.E. checks, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) patrols, foot patrols and marine patrols throughout the weekend across Elgin County.
There were four calls for service on main beach, including Liquor License Act tickets for possession of open liquor, as well as one missing child, who was located and returned to parents, added Const. Carlson, the Elgin County OPP’s Community Safety and Media Relations Officer. There were also four municipal bylaw complaints about fireworks.
As part of the OPP’s National Road Safety Week – May 18 to 24 – there was only one impaired driving charge recorded across Elgin County. There was also one roadside warning, three careless driving charges, 44 speeding charges, five seatbelt charges and one distracted driving charge.