The Ford government has announced stepped up measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of all out door recreational amenities, such as playgrounds and sports fields, effective immediately.
The government has also extended the Declaration of Emergency and associated emergency measures, such as the closure of non-essential workplaces and restrictions on social gatherings through until April 13. According to the premier, the decisions being taken are 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,” said Premier 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.”
The closure of outdoor recreational amenities in Ontario extends to public and private properties such as playgrounds, sports fields, beaches, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, park shelters, skateboard and BMX parks, outdoor community gardens, outdoor exercise equipment, picnic areas, condo parks and gardens, as well as other recreational amenities.
Green spaces in trails, ravines, parks and conservation areas that aren’t otherwise closed will remain open for walks. Individuals must maintain a safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others. Provincial parks and conservation reserves in Ontario remain closed.
The following declaration and orders have been extended and will be in effect until April 13, 2020:
- Declaration of a provincial emergency
- Closure of public places and establishments with exemption for emergency child care for health care and frontline essential service workers
- Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
- Enforcement of emergency orders
- Work deployment f or health service providers
- Work deployment for long-term care homes
- Electronic service of documents
- Electricity pricing
- Drinking water and sewage
- Closure of non-essential workplaces
- Traffic management
- Prohibiting unconscionable pricing for necessary goods
- Streamlining requirements for long-term care homes