COVID-19: Guelph's outdoor amenities to reopen on Saturday

Ontario's third COVID-19 wave is cresting, and Dr. Adalsteinn Brown of the province's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says momentum can be maintained as long as people remain "careful and cautious." Eric Sorensen looks at the province's three-step plan to reopening, and the major role vaccinations will play.

The City of Guelph says its outdoor amenities are reopening on Saturday after the Ontario government eased some COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Victoria Day weekend.

On Thursday, the province announced that outdoor recreation facilities are permitted to reopen and five people can gather outdoors.

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“After following the rules and restrictions for so long, it may seem strange to see people getting together again,” said Doug Godfrey, the city’s general manager of operations.

“We’ve consulted Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and reviewed the regulations, and we’re all excited to get out and play this weekend.”

The city said its crew are working to remove fencing around skate parks and open baseball diamonds, basketball courts, cricket pitches, disc golf courses, soccer fields and tennis courts for Saturday.

While casual use of these amenities is permitted, the city is not accepting bookings for team sports or practices.

All users are also reminded to stay at least two metres away from anyone they do not live with and avoid crowds.

Other COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect until the stay-at-home order expires on June 2.

The provincial government also announced its three-step reopening roadmap, which is expected to begin in mid-June, with the reopening of outdoor activities, including outdoor dining, outdoor fitness classes and camping.

“I know you are tired — tired of wearing a mask, not seeing your loved ones or going to the places that are important to you. I am too. We are very close,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Guelph’s medical officer of health.

“When we get enough people in our community vaccinated, then a summer of seeing friends and family in outdoor settings followed by a very normal fall (with some lingering measures) is within our grasp.”

Read more:
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Mercer encouraged anyone who has not yet booked an appointment to do so as soon as possible.

Anyone over the age of 12 can pre-register through public health’s website.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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