On March 31, 2020 the Government of Ontario extended the Declaration of Emergency and associated emergency measures, including the closure of non-essential workplaces and restrictions on social gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people home.
In addition, Ontario issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as sports fields and playgrounds, effective immediately. These actions are based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Following this directive, the City of Belleville wishes to inform residents that effective immediately, all outdoor recreational amenities are closed.
This new order closes 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, and other outdoor recreational amenities.
City employees are in the process of closing these facilities and the public is asked to respect these changes. City bylaw officers will be working in cooperation with Belleville Police Service to ensure the rules are being followed and may issue fines or more severe penalties to anyone not doing so.
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. Belleville’s waterfront trails are considered part of our active transportation route and will remain open at this time but please practice physical distancing for the safety of yourself and others.
The City continues to maintain the portable washroom facilities located at Gleaners Foodbank, Bridge Street United Church, Grace Inn and the Salvation Army.
“These temporary restrictions the Ontario Government has put in place are important measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Mitch Panciuk. “We’re all experiencing a way of life that is far different from our norm, but we can and will make these adjustments because they have been implemented for our safety. For those who are healthy, it’s important to be outside and get some exercise, we just need to be sure that we do that in a socially responsible way.”
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