When the coronavirus pandemic first began, the advice was to stay put.

Public health officials unanimously agreed that it was safest for everyone if Canadians didn’t travel to their cottages, cabins or summer homes until the threat of spreading the virus had significantly lessened.

Now, as the weather gets warmer and provinces like Ontario begin to allow short-term rentals, including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes and condos, Canadians are wondering if they’re allowed to head north and, if so, how can they do it without spreading COVID-19?

READ MORE: Should you go to the cottage during the coronavirus outbreak?

The top worry for health officials is people who live in densely populated cities with high rates of COVID-19 moving into smaller, more rural communities where the virus may not exist yet, said Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto.

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“There’s a lot of COVID-19, relatively speaking, in Toronto and very little in cottage country (north of the city),” Furness said.

“It’s not so much about protecting oneself … it’s really about protecting where you’re going and not bringing COVID-19 with you.”

For that reason,