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On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the provincial government announced that it amended Ontario Regulation 104/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act – Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities. These amendments were effective immediately and allow the opening of the following amenities:
- Outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields (including baseball diamonds, soccer field, and Frisbee golf locations, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks and skate parks)
- Off-leash dog areas
- Outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in park and recreational areas
While this is effective immediately it will take some time for City staff to remove the barriers that are currently in place.
“These changes have come at an ideal time as we transition to warmer weather,” said City of Belleville CAO, Rod Bovay. “It is important to understand that these spaces are open for the small gatherings stipulated by the provincial government (currently five people). If you arrive at an amenity, such as an off-leash dog park, sports field or picnic area that is crowded, you should wait until there is enough space to physically distance or return at another time.”
Those who use the above amenities must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person using the amenity, unless they are from the same household. Individuals are not permitted to play team sports, such as soccer or baseball, even on fields intended for this purpose, unless they are members of the same household. Please use hand sanitizer to clean your hands while out, wash your hands as soon as you get home, and stay home if not feeling well. Public Washrooms will be opened at the following locations: Rowing Club, George St. Boat Launch, Zwick’s Park, West Riverside, Mary-Anne Sills Park and Victoria Park.
With these changes, the existing emergency order will maintain the closure of all outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment and portions of park and recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment. It will also include the continued closure of outdoor swimming pools, whirlpools and spas, splash pads, spray pads, wading pools, and water slides and all communal facilities intended be used by persons using outdoor sports amenities (unless permitted to be used under O.Reg. 82/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act-Closure of Non-Essential Businesses). Recreation, Culture and Community Services is not booking sport fields in order to meet the provincial guidelines.