With the Province of Ontario placing Ottawa into stage three of its reopening strategy,
The City is reopening all park play structures and equipment and relaxing facility, sports field and ball diamond rental restrictions for organized sports play and practices, as part of the Province’s stage three reopening framework. The City will continue to examine the path forward this summer for resuming other recreation and cultural programming.
In addition, the City, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health (OPH), is reviewing information from Monday’s provincial announcement and conducting a thorough assessment of operational requirements. Staff redeployments, facility retrofits, demand for services, and financial feasibility are all being examined. Information on the resumption of additional services and facility reopenings will be announced in the coming weeks as they are finalized.
Park play structures and equipment
Effective on Friday, July 17, all playground and exercise equipment at City parks will reopen after being closed for the past four months. All users are reminded to practice physical distancing from people outside your household, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands after using park equipment.
Outdoor and indoor facility rentals
With outdoor gathering restrictions expanded to no more than 100 people, rentals for sports fields, ball diamonds, and parks have been relaxed. Team sports can now resume competitive play provided participants adhere to physical distancing guidelines, avoid prolonged and deliberate physical contact, and follow the guidelines of their governing organizations.
The City has cancelled all existing July indoor rental agreements for events, meetings and community activities. Staff are reaching out to August rental contract holders to advise them that all indoor events for more than 50 people will be cancelled. However, the City will consider rental requests in August for up to 50 people on a case-by-case basis. These rentals would need to adhere to physical distancing guidelines and the City’s mandatory masking by-law.
Recreation and cultural programming and facilities
The City is examining how to best resume additional Recreation and Cultural programming offerings throughout the summer, including access to fitness facilities and programs. The City is working to design programs and retrofit facilities to support physical distancing and to help protect participants and staff.
Indoor pools have already reopened for public and lane swimming by reservation. You can now book using the new online reservationsystem. Also, weekly modified swimming lessons will begin on Monday, July 20. Online registrationis open now.
Municipal childcare centres
Effective July 27, all licensed childcare centres will be able to move from the current cohort size of 10 to a cohort size of 15 children, with a requirement to maintain ratios and group sizes under 15, as set out under the Child Care and Early Years Act. This should bring the childcare sector to approximately 90 per cent of its operating capacity before the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Ontario government has announced todaythat nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the Province’s reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place.
On Friday, July 17thmost of the province outside of the GTHA will be able to enter Stage 3. The public health unit regions that are remaining in Stage 2 at this time include: Durham Region, Halton Region, Haldimand-Norfolk, Hamilton, Lambton County, Niagara Region, Peel Region, Toronto, and Windsor-Essex. At the start of each week, the Province will continue to reassess local trends in public health indicators to determine if additional public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3. As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario is increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:
- indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
- outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
- gathering limits are subject to the two-metre distance physical distancing requirements.
Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals, or open houses.
Regions remaining in Stage 2 will maintain the existing gathering limit of 10. Social circles in all stages at this point will also be kept to a maximum of 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open,even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19:
- amusement parks and water parks;
- buffet-style food services;
- dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment;
- overnight stays at camps for children;
- private karaoke rooms;
- prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
- saunas, steam rooms, bath houses, and oxygen bars;
- table games at casinos and gaming establishments.