COVID-19 guidance for summer activities

As we are slowly on the way to reopening, it’s important to continue protecting yourself and your loved ones while getting back to some of your favourite summer activities. Here is what you can do to have a safe, healthy and fun start to the season. To learn more about active living in Timiskaming, click here.

All activities

Fresh air and exercise are good for your health! No matter your summer activity, follow public health measures:

  • Stay home if you feel sick and contact your local Assessment Centre to schedule an appointment for testing. For information about who needs to self-isolate, click here.
  • Practice physical distancing and maintain a 2 meter distance from people who don’t live with you.
  • Wear a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult. Masks are required by law in all indoor public spaces and in indoor workplaces. 
  • Follow gathering limits. Currently, maximum gathering sizes are 100 people outdoors and 25 people indoors. 
  • During travel, follow public health guidelines. Avoid travel to high-risk areas unless for essential reasons.
  • Wash your hands with warm water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. 
  • Do not touch your face.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue.
  • Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. 

Social gatherings: Being a responsible host or guest

Are you planning to host or attend a social gathering? Will there be other people there who are not part of your immediate household? Here’s how to be a safe and responsible host or guest. (If you are hosting a wedding, click here instead.)


Planning ahead

  • Follow gathering limits and invite only the number of guests that are safe for your space. Your space should allow everyone to be comfortable socializing, while staying 2 metres apart from people they don’t live with. For example, set up different tables or picnic blankets for groups from different households. 
  • Determine a rain date for your event. In the case of inclement weather, plan to move your event indoors only if your group includes fewer than 25 people and you can maintain a 2 meter distance or wear masks indoors.
  • Tell guests to expect physical distancing and to stay home if they have any symptoms. This helps protect you and your own family, and can reassure those who are worried about possible exposures. Also, it lets everyone know that they must do their part as responsible guests. 
  • Make a guest list with contact information. This is important for quick notification and public health contact tracing in case someone becomes ill after the event. 
  • Consider options for people to join in virtually if they prefer to do so for personal health reasons. 
  • Avoid potlucks and buffet-style meals, and use safe food handling practices. 

During the event

  • Invite guests to sit with their household and remind everyone to practice physical distancing with people they don’t live with, even if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 
  • Show guests where they can wash their hands. Make sure you are well-stocked with hand soap or hand sanitizer. 
  • Wear a mask when serving food to guests if you will be within 2 meters of people you don’t live with.


Planning ahead

  • RSVP. This helps your host know how many people are attending, so that they can prepare the space for a safe and physically distanced gathering. 
  • Plan your transportation. Avoid carpooling with people outside your household. Have a designated driver. 
  • If you have any symptoms, stay home. Don’t risk exposing other people if you might be sick. Let your host know you won’t attend in person, and ask if there’s an option to join in virtually. 

During the event

  • Sit at the same table as members of your household. Practice physical distancing and stay 2 metres apart from everyone else. 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before eating. Remind children to do the same. 
  • Give others their comfort space. Stay 2 metres apart from people you don’t live with.

Camping and visiting the cottage

Are you going camping or heading to the cottage? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Before you leave, purchase and pack supplies for the duration of your stay. Arrive with food, sunscreen, bug spray, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, prescriptions, and anything you may need if you become sick. Eat and gas up before you leave and do not stop on the way. 
  • Do your research: if your cottage or camp is located outside of your district, review the local public health unit’s website for details about travel recommendations and other restrictions. For Timiskaming District, visit our Travel recommendations webpage.
  • Plan what you will do if you get sick. Look up the location of the nearest Assessment Centre to your cottage or camp. If your location is remote, make a plan for how you will get out to seek testing and medical care.

Can I go with people who don’t live with me?

  • Visiting the cottage: Indoor gatherings are permitted, with a maximum of 25 people. You should maintain a 2 meter distance from people you don’t live with or wear a mask when distancing may be difficult. If it is challenging to follow these restrictions, consider an outdoor gathering instead.
  • Camping: You may camp with members of other households. Be careful to maintain a 2 meter distance. Wear a mask if you cannot maintain a 2 meter distance, including carpooling. Do not share a tent or camper for overnight stays. Do not share drinks or utensils. Crowding around a campfire has been a source of COVID-19 spread in Ontario. 

Garage sales

Garage sales should enhance some COVID-19 precautions to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

  • Increase ventilation by setting up the sale outside instead of in a garage. If using tents, ensure that at least two sides are open.
  • Monitor the number of people present to ensure that the garage sale does not exceed gathering limits. Individuals working the garage sale count towards gathering limits.
  • Increase sanitation of high-touch surfaces. Encourage people not to touch items unless they are ready to buy them. Disinfect items that are touched and not purchased. 
  • During transactions, use gloves or encourage money to be left on a table. Use hand hygiene after handling money or removing gloves. 
  • Ensure that the event allows pedestrians to pass while maintaining a 2 meter distance from attendees.
  • Consider putting up signage asking people not to attend if they are feeling sick.

Sports & Fitness

Outdoor fitness classes, personal training, and team and individual sports are permitted and are capped at the number of people who can maintain a 2 meter distance at all times. All participants in fitness classes must be actively screened. For more information, see the Roadmap to Reopen.

Beaches, boating, playgrounds and parks, outdoor pools and wading pools

Keep these tips in mind to stay protected:

  • Before you go, confirm that the beach, boat launch, playground or park that you intend to visit is open.
  • Limit travel and use areas close to your own communities when possible. 
  • Public areas may become crowded. If crowding is an issue, choose a different beach, boat launch, playground or park. 

Additional tips for beaches

  • Current research suggests the risk of transmission from recreational waters is very low.
  • Do not wear a face covering while swimming. Instead, maintain a 2 meter distance from people who don’t live with you.

Additional tips for boating

  • Limit the number of people on your boat so that you can maintain a 2 meter distance from people you don’t live with. Wear a mask when physical distancing is difficult, such as when launching the boat.