So much for partying on Victoria Day weekend. In his latest briefing on the status of COVID-19 in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford stressed on Thursday that while you can visit cottages for the holiday, it simply cannot be the traditional "party weekend" that it usually is for many people.
Ford has been talking a lot about cottage visits and the May 24 holiday in recent days, and the topic came up again on Thursday in his briefing.
Then, the Premier insisted that people have to reframe the upcoming holiday for this year as it can no longer serve as a "party weekend."
"When you go up north, if you want to check on your plumbing at your cottage or your heat, see what's going on there..." Ford insisted, after being asked to clarify his stance.
"This isn't going to be the typical May 24 weekend. I'm asking you please don't bring a whole whack of people up, it's not the party weekend it was in the past.
Ford also reiterated his call that anyone visiting cottages should bring their own supplies.
"Ths is about working together," he stressed. "If you have to go to the cottage to check on things, bring your supplies and just follow the same rules as we have everywhere else in the province."
As the weather has improved over the last week or two, Ontario faces a delicate balancing act between maintaining its best health practices and allowing its residents to get back outside into the warmth.
And Ford's briefings have been characterized by apparent contradictions in recent days.
On Tuesday, he had suggested that the previously-discouraged cottage visits could be back on the agenda by the Victoria Day long weekend.
By Thursday, he had adjusted that approach to instead encourage visiting Ontarians to "hold off" on their trips out of their home municipalities.
Now, he has shifted again. You can visit, just don't bring the whole squad and let loose like you normally might do.
Yesterday, Ford's announcement concerned businesses.
The Premier confirmed on Wednesday that all retail stores with a street entrance will be allowed to reopen for curbside pickup as of Monday, May 11.
Also on Wednesday, the province extended its emergency declaration for another two weeks, taking it up until May 19.