While the future is definitely still uncertain, Lord Mayor Betty Disero is hoping COVID cases continue to drop, allowing domestic travel and tourism to open up more in spring and summer.
As “more and more people get the vaccine” she says there are signs the province will be opening things back up.
“We're starting to see that now, with the province wanting to open up schools, safely. So I don't think it's their intention to keep things closed just for the sake of keeping things closed,” she said in an interview.
Another positive sign, she said, is that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has extended permission for patios, which NOTL has already permitted until 2022.
“So they're already starting to look at how (to) allow businesses to open up more easily again to get through this summer.”
It's Disero's understanding is that the provincial lockdown was meant to flatten the curve of a second wave sparked largely by Christmas and New Year's gatherings.
“Probably if we can keep the numbers low, I think you'll see the province starting to open up in a safe way,” Disero said.
“As long as people follow the rules and are careful, we should be OK.”
She said getting everyone to follow those rules “seems to be the most difficult challenge.”
If people had done so and not visited friends and family at Christmas, “we may not have had such a big spike,” she said.