After last week's updates from the Ontario Government to the COVID regulations in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa, some confusion has arisen around how these new restrictions apply to sport, as not all sport organizations appear to be following these changes in the same manner. This week, FHO has been in attendance for several PSO calls to help clarify all of this new information and understand how it impacts our clubs across the province.
Below is a copy of the regulations for sports and fitness provided to us from the Minister. While these regulations specifically apply to Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa, please be aware that it is strongly advised that as little travel as possible between hot zone regions and surrounding regions is taking place to prevent numbers from rising in areas with fewer cases. We can confirm that in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa, a limit of 25 participants has been placed on outdoor fields (including coaches, managers, safety officers, and athletes), with 10 participants in an indoor facility. Domed fields have been considered an outdoor facility. In cases where 2 outdoor fields are next to each other, 25 participants can be on each field, with no mixing of groups.
UPDATE: As per the Government of Ontario press conference at 1:00pm on Friday, October 16, the following restrictions will also apply to the York Region beginning on Monday, October 19, 2020.
Please read through the following regulations, but take additional note of lines 4, 6, and 7.
13. (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (5), facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities, including gymnasiums, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities, may open if they comply with the following conditions:
1. Indoor fitness, exercise or dance classes must not be provided.
2. Any areas containing weights or exercise machines must be closed.
3. The total number of members of the public permitted to be in a class, organized program or organized activity at the facility cannot exceed 10 people and each class, organized program or organized activity must take place in a separate room.
4. No spectators are permitted.
5. Any person who enters or uses the facility must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is using the facility.
6. Team sports must not be practised or played within the facility, with the exception of training sessions for members of a sports team that do not include games or scrimmage games.
7. Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within two metres of each other must not be practised or played within the facility.
8. Subject to subsection 19 (2), any locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses in the facility must be closed, except to the extent they provide access to equipment storage, a washroom or a portion of the facility that is used to provide first aid.
9. Any equipment that is rented to, provided to or provided for the use of users of the facility must be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
10. Activities that require the use of equipment or fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use must not be practised or played within the facility.
(2) The conditions set out in subsection (1) do not apply to indoor training facilities that are operated by a sports team in one of the following leagues if they operate in compliance with the conditions set out in subsection (3):
1. Canadian Elite Basketball League.
2. Canadian Football League.
3. Major League Baseball.
4. Major League Soccer.
5. National Basketball Association.
6. National Hockey League.
7. National Lacrosse League.
(3) The conditions referred to in subsection (2) are the following:
1. The facility may only be used if,
i. the team’s league has established a health and safety protocol for the use of training facilities, and
ii. the training facility is operated in compliance with the health and safety protocol.
2. The only persons permitted to enter and use the facility are,
i. players on the team who are using the facility for the purposes of training or conditioning, and
ii. such staff as are strictly necessary to operate the facility and support the training or conditioning of the players.
3. Any equipment that is rented to, provided to or provided for the use of users of the facility must be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
(4) The conditions set out in subsection (1) do not apply to facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities that open to provide space for a day camp for children that is in compliance with section 15.
(5) This section does not apply to pools, splash pads, spray pads and wading pools."
In addition, they have shared the following survey results with us, conducted by IPSOS Limited Partnership, that may be helpful to know while planning your own programs and activities.
We have heard from many individuals and clubs that they are seeing other sports or groups following different interpretations of the regulations set out last week. Please understand that we cannot speak to the activities or decisions of any other Provincial Sport Organization or club in the province, as we are working directly with the government to seek out the most accurate information for our sport and our members.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.