The cement barricades blocking Elgin County beach parking lots were removed today. Queen’s Park’s three-step reopening strategy now allows for marinas and other outdoor recreational amenities to reopen “with restrictions” on Saturday. Public washrooms at municipal beaches will also open – phew!!

“We are all excited to see a plan for safely reopening our province and an easing of some Provincial restrictions,” said Elgin County Warden Tom Marks. “It will be great to have the opportunity to engage in certain outdoor recreational activities again … However we still need to do so in a way that is safe and doesn’t contribute to increased cases of COVID-19.

“Provincial cases are still much higher than we would like, and we don’t want to see (Victoria Day) long weekend fun set our progress back,” he said. “Enjoy yourselves but be responsible.”

Ontario’s Stay-at-Home Order remains in effect until June 2, 2021, requiring social distancing, face coverings, and limiting outdoor gatherings to five people. But the Province’s relaxation of the rules yesterday “provides local residents with the opportunity to exercise and enjoy the nice weather over the long weekend,” according to a statement released by Elgin County today. “

“Residents are encouraged to enjoy the recreational amenities available to them in their own communities,” the statement continues. “Travelling between regions is still prohibited this weekend, and travelling to visit cottages or seasonal residences for non-essential purposes is not yet permitted.”