Ontario Govt. Forcing Closure Of All Public Or Private Outdoor Sports And Recreation Facilities

Monday March 30th, 2020

Posted at 9:14pm

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The Province of Ontario is issuing a new emergency order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by forcing the closure of all outdoor recreational amenities such as sports fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, community gardens, off-leash dog parks, and others, effective immediately.

The new order, made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, will see the forced closure of all communal or shared, public or private outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario, including but not limited to:

  • playgrounds
  • sports fields
  • basketball and tennis courts
  • off-leash dog parks
  • beaches
  • skateboard and BMX parks
  • picnic areas
  • outdoor community gardens
  • park shelters
  • outdoor exercise equipment
  • condo parks and gardens
  • outdoor recreational amenities

Officials say green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that aren’t otherwise closed would remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.

Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves remain closed.

The government says the new order is based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“I made a commitment to be open and upfront about what we need to do as a province to beat this virus,” says Premier Doug Ford. “Based on the best medical advice available, we are taking further steps today to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians by closing outdoor recreational amenities, like sports fields and playgrounds, and extending our emergency orders to save lives. We all need to work together and do our part to stop COVID-19 by staying home, practising physical distancing, and avoiding social gatherings.”

“We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We will continue to take decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect Ontarians’ health and wellbeing.”

“The health and well-being of Ontarians is a top priority of our government as we navigate through the COVID-19 health crisis. I know our municipal partners are already taking action locally to protect their residents,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This order makes the rules around closing shared outdoor recreational amenities consistent across the province.”

The Ontario government also announced the extension of the declaration of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act from March 17th.

The province says the following declaration and orders have been extended and will be in effect until April 13, 2020:

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