Ontario has issued an order requiring residents to stay at home starting Thursday, Jan 14th, except for essential activities.
Stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.
As part of the order, the government has issued detailed guidelines on what outdoor recreational activities are allowed.
Tobogganing hills, skating trails, snowmobile, cross country, snow mobiling, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails are allowed to open, as long as they follow public health requirements.
The province says there’s no set definition for what is “essential,” because everyone has their own unique circumstances and regional considerations.
There’s no limit on how many times people can leave their homes per day, or on how long they can be out. The premier’s office says officials are asking Ontarians to use their “best judgment” to determine what constitutes an essential trip and says residents should spend as little time outside of their home as possible.
The province says “exercise is considered an essential reason for leaving your home. What that means will be unique to each individual Ontarian: some may wish to go for a walk around the block, while others may wish to go to a local basketball court with their household to shoot some hoops. We recommend that Ontarians consult their local public health unit or municipality to understand what recreational amenities are open in their community.”
“If you’re not sure if a trip is absolutely essential, it probably isn’t,” Ford said. “So please, you must stay home.”
The premier added that residents should “use their best judgment” when determining if they need to leave home.
These are the outdoor recreational amenities permitted during the stay-at-home order.
- Parks and recreational areas
- Baseball diamonds
- Batting cages
- Soccer, football and sports fields
- Tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
- Basketball courts
- BMX parks
- Skate parks
- Frisbee golf locations
- Cycling tracks and bike trails
- Horse riding facilities
- Shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs
- Ice rinks
- Snowmobile, cross country, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails
- Portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
- Tobogganing hills and skating trails
As per the document, a permitted outdoor recreational amenity may only open if:
- Any person who enters or uses the amenity maintains a physical distance of at least two metres from other person using the amenity (excluding
members of the same household).
- Team sports, or other sports or games where people may come within two metres of each other, are not practiced or played within the amenity.