Editor’s Note: The title of this story was updated to reflect existing provincial regulations regarding outdoor hockey and fundraising boundaries.
A new class order to curb crowds at Ottawa ice rinks and other outdoor recreation facilities during the new coronavirus pandemic will also ban practicing or playing hockey on the ice.
From Friday at 5 limits the city-wide class order gatherings on ice rinks, ski slopes, toboggan runs and other leisure activities to a maximum of 25 people.
People should keep a distance of two meters in these places and wear masks when they are outside the ice or around the other facilities, although it is also highly recommended to wear masks while skating or participating in other leisure activities.
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Some are exempt from the requirement: children under two years of age; those developmentally under five years who cannot be persuaded to wear a mask; and all with medical conditions that prevent the proper use of masks.
Owners and operators of these sites will be responsible for enforcing the new rules and posting signage and route markers to promote distance and improve the flow of people.
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The last clause in the class order also prohibits playing team sports such as hockey in places where it would be difficult to maintain two meters distance.
“You must not practice or play team sports or other sports or games that are likely to result in a person coming within two (2) meters of each other,” the order reads.
A statement from the City of Ottawa on Thursday confirmed that only ice skating is allowed on ice rinks. Sports equipment such as hockey sticks, puck and balls are not allowed on the ice.
Roger Chapman, Ottawa’s director of bylaw services, said in a statement to Global News that ice hockey and also urban facilities are banned under the reopening of the Ontario Act, which says outdoor facilities can only be opened if neither team sports are played or practiced.
Street hockey matches are considered social gatherings, he added, meaning they are limited to a maximum of 10 people with physical distance in place.
The four city-owned courses in Ottawa will implement an online booking system to reserve 45-minute blocks during peak hours. Groups of up to four skaters must present an online or printed confirmation to skate on the tracks during the specified hours.
These peak loads are as follows:
- City Hall Rink of Dreams, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
- Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink of Dreams, 10 to 22 on weekends, 8 to 22 on weekdays
- Lansdowne Park Skating Court, 9am to 10pm on weekends, 5pm to 10pm on weekdays
- Ben Franklin Place Skating Rink, 9am to 10pm on weekends, 5pm to 10pm on weekdays
The city’s new reservation system opens on Friday at 18 to book skating times for Saturday and Sunday. After the first weekend, reservations can be made up to two days ahead of time with new slots opening at 6 p.m. 18.00 daily.
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s health officer, is able to pass class orders like this under Section 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, which empowers her to adopt rules to reduce the risk of spreading a contagious disease.
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Etches writes in the order that although there is generally a reduced risk of transmitting coronavirus in outdoor environments, this risk increases when there is “congestion, close contact, prolonged exposure, and heavy exhalation.”
Etches and Anthony Di Monte, Ottawa’s director general of emergency and protection services, said Tuesday when the order was first announced that law enforcement officers will take an educational tack rather than an enforcement method to ensure all residents are informed of the new rule.
Still, fines are an option if residents do not comply with the order.
The maximum penalty stipulated in the ruling is $ 5,000 per. Violation of the law.
Ottawa has been under Ontario’s 28-day provincial-wide lockdown since December 26, 2020. During that time, the number of Ottawa cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and coronavirus outbreaks has increased, prompting concern from Etches and other officials. in the city.
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