Ontarians looking to get a change of scenery amid the COVID pandemic will soon be able to start booking short-term rentals again throughout the province.

On Thursday afternoon, the provincial government announced it would be lifting its ban on short-term rentals as of Friday, June 5 at 12:01 am. The ban, issued under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, came into effect as of 11:59 pm on Saturday, April 4, and restricted short-term rentals from housing anyone other than individuals “who are in need of housing during the emergency period.”

This means short-term rentals, including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and B&Bs, will be allowed to resume operations in Ontario.

However, the government has yet to announce any specific details or guidelines around the rentals.

“On behalf of Ontario’s Airbnb community of hosts we want to thank the Government of Ontario for their leadership in these difficult times," said Alex Dagg, a spokesperson for Airbnb. "The government has taken a thoughtful approach to protecting public health while laying a foundation upon which economic recovery can be successful. Airbnb will continue to support Frontline workers as we also look toward tourism returning. "

Dagg says the San Francisco-based tech giant wants to ensure a "safe and responsible return of travel in Ontario" and everywhere it operates. "That’s why over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we began preparing for the future of travel, focused on health and prevention. Recently we announced our Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, which includes enhanced procedures and guidance for hosts, and is expected to become the leading standard for the entire home-sharing community,” added Dagg.

This news comes as the province continues to gradually reopen the economy in stages and as Ontario reported 356 additional cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 29,403 in the province.

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