Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development

Ontario relaxes provincial short-term rental restrictions

Canada: The capital Canadian province of Ontario has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions on short-term rentals.

The news was announced by the province’s minister of economic development, Victor Fedeli, in a tweet earlier today.

Ontario had initially banned short-term rentals as a result of the global pandemic, attempting to curb infection rates. As of 4 April, those hosting a short-term rental for any purpose beyond emergency housing could be fined up to $100,000.

However, now the province will be allowing short-term rentals, cottage rentals, and BnBs to resume operations. It has made a series of health recommendations for owners and renters in order to keep rentals safe.

The statement said: “Owners should consult health and safety guidelines related to the tourism and hospitality sector when considering how they can reopen their doors to guest. Operators and guests should continue to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, and wash hands frequently.”

This news comes as Ontario has unveiled 356 new Covid-19 cases, with Canada’s epidemic mostly contained to the largest provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Last month, Ontarians were advised to avoid their summer housing in order to avoid straining small town resources during the pandemic.

Ivan Yelich, a spokesperson for the Ontario premiers office, told CTV News Toronto: “We have heard from many regions that they would like to see us relax those rules, but local public health units are empowered to issue their own orders under the Public Health Act. If they don’t feel that their region is ready for this, they can certainly issue their own restrictions and orders and keep those restrictions in place when it comes to short term rentals.”

Airbnb previously had courted controversy in Toronto after a mass shooting at one of their properties this year. This caused the company to limit under-25s from renting full properties through the platform.

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