Ontario orders recreational amenities closed immediately

In this October 2018, file photo, the Iroquois Beach and picnic area. The Ontario government has ordered that all recreational amenities, which includes beaches and picnic areas, be closed immediately to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – Premier Doug Ford has toughed up the declaration of emergency for Ontario and has added a new emergency order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The order, which went into effect at 9 p.m. Monday (March 30), calls for the immediate closure of all outdoor recreational amenities, including sports fields and playgrounds.

“Based on the best medical advice available, we are taking further steps today to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians,” Ford said in a statement.

The new order applies to both public and private locations everywhere in the province.

It includes playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment and condo parks and gardens.

The City of Cornwall already shut down play structures, swings, basketball, tennis and ball hockey courts on March 24.

Parks, trails and conservation areas that aren’t closed are still open for walking access, though the government says people need to practice physical distancing by keeping two meters (six feet) apart at all times.