COVID affects Ice Hut Rules

Ice fishing shacks and trailers on a northern lake on a bright winter morning

(ELLIOT LAKE, ON) – The East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding lake goers of some important rules when attending an ice hut. Ice fishing and time outdoors is a great way to enjoy the winter season. However, police would like to address the public pertaining to two areas of concern; Covid-19 regulations and alcohol consumption.

Covid-19 Restriction:  limit to 5 people effective January 14, 2021

Over 5 people at an ice hut, and including people from different residences is illegal. The ice hut owner can be charged with, “Fail to comply with continued section 7.0.2 order, contrary to section 10(1)(a) of the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.” The charge is a ticket with a fine of $750 plus surcharge totalling $880.

Some laws during the lockdown are as follows:

  • All reservations for temporary accommodations (including ice huts) had to have been made before December 26, 2020;
  • Those staying in an ice hut, whether rented or not, must be from the same residence (exception is that a person who lives alone and who has a different address can join the group); and
  • No outdoor gatherings of over 5 people.

Alcohol Consumption:

Consuming alcohol in an ice hut is illegal under Regulation 31(2) of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA). The only exemption is if the ice hut contains legitimate sleeping and cooking facilities (i.e. ice bungalows) as per the definition of “Private Place” in the LLA.

There are also concerns about impaired driving after the day of fishing is complete. Whether that be on a snowmobile, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) or in a car or truck. The OPP want to ensure public safety is the top priority relating to this issue.  And, as such, police will be out on patrol ensuring that these activities are keeping safety in mind.



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