Re-Opening of Outdoor Amenities & Activities

Yesterday, Premier Doug Ford announced a “gradual” three-step roadmap for Ontario to reopen. The three-step plan is tentatively scheduled to begin the week of June 14th, based on certain vaccination level criteria, but the government will allow some outdoor recreational amenities to reopen this Saturday (May 22). See the following link for specific details from the ministry: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario

The list of permitted amenities impacting Athletics Ontario includes parks and recreational areas, soccer, football, and sports fields, portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment, and other trails.

Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events will also be expanded to five people, including with members of different households.

The updated regulations indicate that no outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted. There is no clarity on if this includes coaches leading a workout session or not.

Our interpretation of this announcement is that outdoor exercise will be permitted in groups of five or less as long as social distancing is maintained and public health measures are adhered to. However, our recommendation is to check with your local public health unit or bylaw officers to be sure.

Athletics Ontario suggests following the “rule of 2/3”, meaning, at all times two of the three items listed below should be in place:

  • Be outdoors
  • Wear a mask
  • Social Distance

The exemption for High Performance Athletes as identified by Athletics Canada remains in effect.

Athletics Ontario will communicate more updates as they become available.


EDIT: MAY 22ND

The regulations were updated on Saturday, see: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082

Note: On May 22, 2021, section 4 of Schedule 3 to the Regulation is revoked and the following substituted: (See: O. Reg. 344/21, s. 2)

Recreational amenities

  1. (1) Each person responsible for an indoor or outdoor recreational amenity that is not in compliance with this section, and that is not a facility for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities that is permitted to open under section 48 of Schedule 2, must ensure that it is closed.

(2) The following outdoor recreational amenities may open if they are in compliance with subsection (3):

  1. Parks and recreational areas.
  2. Baseball diamonds.
  3. Batting cages.
  4. Soccer, football and sports fields.
  5. Tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts.
  6. Basketball courts.
  7. BMX parks.
  8. Skate parks.
  9. Golf courses and driving ranges.
  10. Frisbee golf locations.
  11. Cycling tracks and bike trails.
  12. Horse riding facilities.
  13. Shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs.
  14. Ice rinks.
  15. Tobogganing hills.
  16. Snowmobile, cross country ski, dogsledding, ice skating and snow shoe trails.
  17. Playgrounds.
  18. Portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment.
  19. Archery ranges.
  20. Boat and watercraft launches.
  21. Lawn game courts, including lawn bowling, bocce and croquet courts.

(3) An outdoor recreational amenity described in subsection (2) may only open if,

(a)  any person who enters or uses the amenity maintains a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is using the amenity;

(b)  team sports are not practised or played within the amenity;

(c)  other sports or games that are likely to result in individuals coming within two metres of each other are not practised or played within the amenity; and

(d)  any locker rooms, change rooms, showers, clubhouses, restaurants, pools, meeting rooms, fitness centres or other recreational facilities on the premises remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to equipment storage, a washroom or a portion of the amenity that is used to provide first aid.

(4) Clause (3) (a) does not require persons who are all members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from each other while in the amenity.

SCHEDULE 4
ORGANIZED PUBLIC EVENTS, CERTAIN GATHERINGS IN SHUTDOWN ZONE

Gatherings, Stage 1 areas

1. (1) Subject to sections 2 to 4, no person shall attend,

(a)  an organized public event that is held indoors;

(b)  a social gathering that is held indoors, including a social gathering associated with a gathering described in clause (d);

(c)  an organized public event or social gathering that is held outdoors, including a social gathering associated with a gathering described in clause (d); or

 

Note: On May 22, 2021, clause 1 (1) (c) of Schedule 4 to the Regulation is revoked and the following substituted: (See: O. Reg. 344/21, s. 3)

(c)  an organized public event or social gathering of more than 5 people that is held outdoors, including a social gathering associated with a gathering described in clause (d); or

(d)  a gathering, whether indoors or outdoors, for the purposes of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony of more than 10 people.

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