Grey Bruce's top doc urging people to refrain from unessential travel to Grey County
BARRIE -- There was a steady flow of traffic, as cars filled with eager skiers drove into Grey County on Wednesday with thousands of people headed for The Blue Mountains' ski hills, west of Collingwood.
The Town of Collingwood itself went back into lockdown on Monday with the rest of Simcoe Muskoka, while The Blue Mountains is now in Green.
However, only kilometres separate the two communities.
"It makes no sense," says Stephen Walker, an employee at 1858 Caesar Bar, "people come to Collingwood thinking it's the same area and it's not the same area."
Restaurant booths, including those at 1858 Caesar Bar, remained empty around the town, while gyms and hair salons were forced to close.
Walker believes restaurants can operate safely, but the rules have to make sense.
"Somebody has to make a logical common sense," he says. "We will follow the protocols; we will do the right things; masks, sanitizing, cleaning. However, we have to get back to business; this is just common sense now."
Collingwood Mayor, Brian Saunderson, says the imaginary boundary between the two areas is difficult to justify and he's concerned many businesses, like several right now in Barrie, will simply ignore the lockdown.
"If we are not getting compliance, then we are not making sure we are operating safely," he says. "What we should be doing is revisiting this and working together to find a solution."
Saunderson has called on the province to help find a solution before public trust is lost.
The Medical Officer Health in Grey County, " Dr. Ian Arra, has his concerns, as the number of people travelling to the area from other hot spots continues to climb.
"Travel for medical appointments, travel for work is essential," says Dr. Arra. "Anything related to leisure or optional travel or visitor is non-essential, and we are completely discouraging it."
A coalition of small businesses has started a hash a tag on social media #weareequal, and there are also plans for protests in the area.