Last updated: January 20, 2022 at 10:31 p.m.

The Government of Ontario recently announced changes to COVID-19 public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity and social gathering limits that came into effect on January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. This guidance will soon be updated accordingly.

On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This document provides interim directions for managers and participants (i.e. garden member/gardeners) of community and allotment gardens to help reduce the risk of COVID-19. Any person that uses community or allotment gardens must do so in accordance with these directions. Community gardens exist on both City of Toronto and private property. Allotment gardens are permitted through the City of Toronto and are located on City property.  Review COVID-19 Guidance for Community Agencies for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Reduce the risk of transmission

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Stay at home when you are ill, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Keep at least a two metre distance from those you don’t live with.
  • Where a mask indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.

Capacity limits and restrictions

  • Garden capacity must be limited so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
  • Indoor facilities must limit capacity so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, and the total number of members of the public does not exceed 50 per cent capacity.
    • 50 per centre capacity is determined by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • Every person in attendance shall maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, except from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household.
  • Organized public events and social gatherings are limited to 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors, with physical distancing.
  • See COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship for religious service, rite or ceremony restrictions.
  • Day camps for children must be operated in a manner consistent with the COVID-19 safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • In-person indoor instructional programs are not permitted. See COVID-19 Guidance for In-person Instructional Services for more information.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.

Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Prior to entering or exiting the gardens, every person must wash or sanitize their hands.
  • If hands are visibly soiled, handwashing with soap and water is preferred. If soap and water are not available, wipe hands clean before applying hand sanitizer (70 to 90% alcohol concentration).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and clean your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Self-screening

Entrance restrictions

  • Anyone who answers YES to any of the screening questions should stay home and not attend the community gardening.
  • Allotment garden permit holders must keep a log of all garden visits (name, contact information, date and time of visit). The log must be made available to TPH upon request to support COVID-19 contact tracing, if necessary.

Cleaning and disinfecting

Equipment and tools

  • Avoid sharing tools and equipment, if possible.
  • If you must share tools and equipment, clean and disinfect after each use.
  • Do not share gardening gloves. Gardening gloves should be laundered after each use.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands before putting on and after taking off gardening gloves.
  • If using a tent or canopy, at least two full sides must be open to the outdoors and not substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers. To maximize airflow further, ensure all four sides are open.
    • Limit capacity under the tent to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
    • Arrange tables and chairs to promote physical distancing.
    • Require masks or face coverings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Signage

Communications

  • Community garden managers must:
    • Provide information to garden members to ensure they are familiar with COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Where required to ensure physical distancing, create a schedule to minimize crowding at the garden and to keep attendance records to assist with contact tracing, if someone develops COVID-19.
    • Maintain an up-to-date list of members, including contact information.
    • Communicate with members frequently about these guidelines.

Gardeners who become ill while at the garden

  • People who become ill with COVID-19 symptoms while at the garden should go home immediately and self-isolate. They should also review the City of Toronto website for more information about COVID-19, including getting tested.
  • Toronto Public Health will help individuals with COVID-19 to identify who is a close contact.
    • If the person who tested positive is unsure who they interacted with at the garden, they should notify the garden manager or permit contact of the dates they visited the garden while contagious. Garden managers/permit contacts should communicate potential risk to other garden members, as appropriate. See Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace for more information on contact tracing.
  • Encourage members to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Encourage vaccination

Other resources


Download this information as a PDF.

This guidance document describes the requirements that indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness facilities, such as gyms, health clubs, exercise studios, waterparks, facilities where physical fitness trainers provide instruction, must comply with under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Facilities operated by a sports team in a professional league, and persons training for Olympic/ Paralympic Games are beyond the scope of this document.  See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 263/20 for more information.

Owners and operators have a responsibility to assess the risks associated with their facility and operations, and their ability to mitigate these risks. They are responsible for implementing measures to reduce the risk of infection among all those who participate in their activities (e.g. staff, volunteers, patrons). See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 263/20 for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

See COVID-19 Guidance for Outdoor Recreational Amenities for information about amenities such as outdoor ice rinks, ski and toboggan hills, golf courses, driving ranges, tennis courts and sports fields.

Information for the public can be found in the COVID-19 Checklist for Using Sport, Fitness & Recreational Amenities.

What is Permitted (Reg. 263/20)

Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities

  • No indoor sports or indoor recreational classes are permitted at any indoor sport and recreational facilities.

(1) A facility for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities may open if it meets the following conditions:

  • The facility is operated by, or for the sole use of, persons who are athletes, coaches or officials training or competing to be a part of Team Canada at the next summer or winter Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, if the persons are,
    • identified by a national sport organization that is either funded by Sport Canada or recognized by the Canadian Olympic Committee or the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and
    • permitted to train, compete, coach or officiate under the safety protocols put in place by a national sport organization mentioned above.
  • The only persons permitted to enter and use the facility must be,
    • players, athletes, coaches or officials who are using the facility for the purposes of training or conditioning, and
    • such staff as are strictly necessary to operate the facility and support the training or conditioning of the players.

(2) A facility for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities may open if it meets the following condition:

  • The facility must open solely for the purpose of providing space for any, some or all of the following:
    • A provider of child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
    • Mental health support services or addictions support services, so long as no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the space.
    • The provision of social services.

(3) A facility for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities may, but is not required to, open if it meets the following conditions:

  • The facility must be open solely for the purpose of allowing use of the facility by,
    • persons with a disability, within the meaning of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, who,
      • have received a written instruction for physical therapy from a regulated health professional who is qualified to provide the instruction, and
      • are not able to engage in the physical therapy elsewhere,
    • such staff as are strictly necessary to operate the facility and support the provision of the physical therapy, and
    • such support persons or service animals as may be necessary for the person with a disability.
  • The facility must have established a health and safety protocol for the use of the facility that is consistent with sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 7 of Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 263/20, and the facility must be operated in compliance with the health and safety protocol.
  • The person responsible for the facility must,
    • record the name and contact information of every person who enters and uses the facility,
    • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
    • only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Acton request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

(4) A facility for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities may open in compliance with section 8 of Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 263/20 – professional and elite amateur sports.

  • Professional and elite amateur sports is beyond the scope of this guidance. See O. Reg. 263/20 for details.

Facilities for outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities

Facilities for outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • The number of spectators at the facility at any one time must not exceed,
    • for a facility that has an area designated for spectator seating, 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity, and
    • for a facility that does not have an area designated for spectator seating, 50 per cent capacity, determined by taking the total square metres of the area, dividing that number by 8 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
  • Every outdoor spectator must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to an exception or are seated with members of their own household only, and every member of the household is seated at least two metres from every person outside their household.
  • The person responsible for the facility, or, where there is no such responsible person, the person holding a permit for the use of the facility, must,
    • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who enters the facility,
    • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
    • only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Acton request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
  • The person responsible for the facility or, where there is no such responsible person, the person holding a permit for the use of the facility, must actively screen individuals who enter the facility in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the facility.
  • Prior to permitting any participants in an organized sports league or event to practise or play the sport in the facility, the facility must ensure that the league or event has prepared a safety plan.

Personal physical fitness and sports trainers

Personal physical fitness and sports trainers may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • Any services must be provided outside.
  • The personal trainer or sports trainer must prepare a safety plan.
  • The personal trainer or sports trainer must,
    • record the name and contact information of every member of the public whom they are providing services to,
    • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
    • only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Acton request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
  • The personal trainer or sports trainer must actively screen individuals in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they engage in personal physical fitness or sports training activities.

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

  • Proof of vaccination is required for outdoor facilities with a usual capacity of 20,000 or more people.

Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and patrons safe. Operators must also consider the following:

  • Health screening for staff and participants
    • The person responsible for the facility, permit holder or personal trainer must actively screen all individuals, including staff and patrons, before they enter the facility.
    • People who become ill while at the amenity should go home immediately, and self-isolate. They should review the City of Toronto website for more information about COVID-19.
    • Remind staff and participants to stay at home when they are ill, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene before, during and after using the amenity.
    • Provide hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration for staff and patron use, if possible.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting
    • Washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
    • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects at least once a day and when visibly dirty. See Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings for more information.
    • If possible, assign staff to their own equipment.
    • Encourage participants to bring their own gear for personal use, when practical and possible (e.g. water bottle, yoga mat, training aids).
    • Any equipment rented or used by members of the public must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain sanitary condition.
      • Establish and post clear policies requiring people to wipe down equipment before and after every use.
      • Provide adequate supplies and garbage bins for disposing used materials.

Safety Plan

  • Operators, including personal trainers, must prepare and make available a written safety plan.
    • Additionally, prior to permitting any participants in an organized sports league or event to practise or play the sport in the facility, the facility must ensure that the league or event has prepared a safety plan in accordance with the Reg. 263/20.
  • The plan must describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19, including screening for symptoms, physical distancing, use of masks and/or personal protective equipment, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • Personal physical fitness trainers, and facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities shall also include information as to how the business, place or event will,
      • prevent gatherings and crowds in the business or place or at the event;
      • ensure that physical distancing and wearing of masks in lines as applicable is complied with in the business or place or at the event; and
      • mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games that may be included in the business or place or at the event.
    • The safety plan must be posted in a visible location and be available to anyone upon request.
    • Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to develop your safety plan.

Capacity Limits

  • Subject to any other provisions set out in O. Reg. 263/20, the person responsible for a place of business or facility that is open to the public shall limit the number of members of the public in the place of business or facility so that,
    • the members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility; and
    • the total number of members of the public in the business or facility at any one time does not exceed 50 per cent capacity
      • 50 per cent capacity is determined by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
    • Unless otherwise provided, a capacity limit set out in O. Reg 263/20 applies to the whole business or facility, not to individual rooms or areas within the business or facility.
  • Designate and manage entry and exit points to control the number of people entering the amenity. If the maximum number of people is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.

Modify the Space & Ensure Physical Distancing

Modify and arrange site/floor plan to encourage physical distancing and reduce contact, where possible.

  • Identify areas where crowding and bottlenecks are common, such as lobbies, washrooms, and use staff or barriers to redirect people who may gather in these areas. Operators may post signs with the number of people allowed into each room/space.
  • Remove furniture/ equipment for ease of movement.
  • Design traffic flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
  • Assign spaces for organized activities (e.g. by marking circles or squares on the floor to designate where each person should exercise).
  • Stagger arrivals and departures, where possible, to reduce congestion at points of entrance and exit and in common areas.
  • All individuals should maintain at least two metres physical distancing from people they don’t live with, when possible, with limited exceptions.
  • Monitor and manage lines within and outside the facility.
    • Operators must ensure patrons maintain two metres physical distancing from other groups of persons while waiting in line indoors and outdoors.
    • Masks are required indoors, and recommended outdoors while waiting in line.

Record Keeping, Registrations and Reservations

  • The person responsible for the facility, permit holder or personal trainer must,
    • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who enters the facility,
    • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
    • provide this information to Toronto Public Health upon request.
  • Appointments/reservations are recommended, where possible. Encourage online or telephone sales and registration processes.
  • Ask participants to arrive no more than 10 minutes before their reserved time slot and leave the facility immediately after the activity.
  • Encourage participants to arrive at the facility fully dressed/prepared for the activity.
  • Install physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass shield) at point of sale, registration and help desks where physical distancing between staff and participants is difficult.
  • Use a contactless process to log attendance (e.g. scanner), if necessary.

Modify Programming

  • Consider alternative methods of service (e.g. virtual classes).
  • When holding classes or activities outdoors, if using a tent or canopy, at least two full sides must be open to the outdoors and not substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers.
  • Allow sufficient time between classes/activities to allow safe and distanced exit and entry, and sufficient environmental cleaning in between.
  • Consider closing or restricting access to non-essential common areas (e.g. communal lounges).
  • Music played in the facility should not exceed the decibel level at which normal conversation is possible.
  • Review the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Settings and Food Premises, as applicable.

Food & Drink

Wear a Mask

  • Toronto by-law 541-2020 and Ontario regulation requires the use of masks in all public indoor settings, with limited exceptions.
  • Masks are strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Masks are required for spectators outdoors unless seated with household members only and every member of the household is seated at least two metres from every other person outside their household.
  • Operators with indoor spaces that are open to the public are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Checklist on Mask By-law and Sample Policy.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment that covers the eyes, nose and mouth must be worn if, while providing service in an indoor area, the person
    • is required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering; and
    • is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • Staff should be trained on the mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption is not required.
  • Learn more about the bylaw.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) are properly maintained.
  • Increase outdoor air-exchange by:
    • Maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or
    • Opening windows and doors, if it is safe to do so
  • Use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system, if provided.
  • Keep seating and activities away from air vents and areas with high airflow.
  • Do not obstruct HVAC inlets and outlets.
  • When using ceiling fans, use an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, position fan with an upward movement to avoid blowing of air across people and surfaces.
  • There is no evidence the use of portable air purifiers will prevent the spread of COVID-19. If used, follow the manufacturer’s directions to decide where best to place the device. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance.
  • For more information, review the COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Communications

  • Inform staff and patrons about facility operations and new measures taken to keep everyone safe.
  • Print posters for entrances and other locations, including mandatory mask bylaw.
  • Encourage customers and staff to download the COVID Alert app. They may be notified if they have been in close contact with someone who test positive for COVID-19.

More Information

Visit our website at toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.

Other Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

Indoor recreational amenities, including indoor playgrounds, may open if they comply with the conditions set out in section 16 of O. Reg. 364/20  – Facilities used for indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities.

Opt-in to Require Proof of Vaccination

  • The person responsible for the place of business or facility may elect to require patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • During the period when this election is in effect, the person responsible for the indoor recreational amenity:
    • Is not required to limit the number of members of the public, as described below.
    • Shall post signs at all entrances to the premises, in a conspicuous location visible to the public, that inform patrons that proof of vaccination is required in order to enter.
  • See Proof of vaccination information for businesses and organizations for more information.

Limit Capacity if Proof of Vaccination is Not Required

If proof of vaccination if not required, the indoor recreational amenity may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • The total number of members of the public who are permitted to be in the amenity at any one time must be limited to 50 per cent of the capacity of the amenity.
    • This can be calculated by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • The person responsible for the recreational amenity, or, where there is no such responsible person, the person holding a permit for the use of the recreational amenity, must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the recreational amenity is permitted to operate.

Owners and operators of outdoor playground and fitness equipment need to implement infection prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission for users. See Provincial Orders O. Reg 263/20 for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and clients safe.

Masks/Face Coverings for Staff and Participants

The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces under a City of Toronto bylaw and O. Reg 263/20.

  • Organizations with indoor spaces that are open to the public must develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Checklist on Mask By-law and Sample Policy.
  • Operators must ensure that any person in the indoor area of the facility (e.g., washroom), or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization, wears a mask in a manner that covers their nose, mouth and chin.
  • Masks are strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Not all patrons are able to tolerate a mask and may be exempted. For example, masks should not be used by children under age two, and anyone who has trouble breathing.
  • Train staff on these new requirements, including who is exempt and the proper use of a cloth mask or face covering.

Outdoor Playground and Fitness Equipment

  • Outdoor playgrounds, including those with fitness equipment, are permitted to open.
  • Prior to opening, inspect all fixtures and equipment to verify its safety.
  • Outdoor fixtures and equipment do not need to be sanitized.
  • Adopt strategies to encourage participants to maintain at least two metre physical distancing as much as possible.
    • Where possible, move benches, toys and equipment to ensure they are at least two metres apart.

Signage

Post signs in visible locations to remind everyone to practice public health measures. Signs can include:

  • Posters to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms, and to go home if they have symptoms.
  • Notice that the playground and fitness equipment are not sanitized.
  • Current gathering restrictions and reminder to avoid close contact with people you don’t live with.
  • Physical distancing posters, ground markers, or other cues to stay two metres apart at all times, and three metres apart while exercising.
  • Hand hygiene posters to encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Signs are available in multiple languages.

Drinking Fountains

  • Water fountains may remain open. Clean and disinfect at least twice daily, if possible.
  • Ensure all water systems are safe to use, if there was prolonged shutdown.
  • Where possible, switch drinking water fountains to touchless or foot pedal operated.
  • Encourage individuals to use a cup or reusable bottle, rather than drinking directly from the spout.

Garbage Bins

  • Install hands-free garbage bins near the playground.
  • Garbage bins have removable linings, and are changed frequently to prevent overflow.

Washrooms

  • Clean and disinfect washrooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
  • High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, railings, door handles, bathroom surfaces should be cleaned more often.
  • Ensure supplies of liquid soap and paper towels are routinely stocked.
  • Where possible, open windows to allow for air flow and ventilation.

Playgrounds used by Child Care Centres

  • General routine cleaning is acceptable.
  • Most outdoor playgrounds do not need to be sanitized. However, child care centres that have private playgrounds may consider routine cleaning of outdoor play structures and equipment. Follow the specific guidance for child care centres.

Protective Measures for Participants Using Playgrounds

  • Monitor yourself and your child for symptoms of COVID-19. Stay home if you or your child is sick.
  • If the playground is busy, find another park or go back later.
  • Teach children how to properly wash their hands, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and to cover their cough.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration), disinfecting wipes, bottled water, sun screen and personal items.
  • Consider bringing your own toys or sports equipment to play with. These personal items should be washed with hot soapy water when you return home.
  • Keep at least two metres from people you don’t live with, when possible.
  • Social gatherings must be limited to 10 people or less outdoors.
  • Wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces, and when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing outdoors. Do not apply a mask on children under the age of two.
  • Wash hands before and after using the playground.
  • Download the COVID Alert app so you can be notified directly if you or your family have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Download this information as a PDF.

This guidance document describes the requirements that outdoor recreational amenities, such as ice rinks, ski and toboggan hills, sports fields, etc. must comply with under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Owners and operators have a responsibility to assess the risks associated with their facility and operations, and their ability to mitigate these risks. They are responsible for implementing measures to reduce the risk of infection among all those who participate in their activities (e.g. staff, volunteers, patrons). See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 263/20 for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

See COVID-19- Guidance for Sports & Recreational Fitness Facilities for information about outdoor fitness classes, team sports and personal training.

Information for the public can be found in the COVID-19 Checklist for Using Sport, Fitness & Recreational Amenities.

What is Permitted (O. Reg. 263/20)

  • Indoor recreational amenities are closed.
  • Outdoor recreational amenities may open if they comply with the following conditions:
    • Any steam rooms and saunas on the premises must be closed.
    • Clubhouses must be closed, except,

Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and patrons safe. Operators must also consider the following:

  • Health screening for staff and participants
    • Actively screen all staff before they enter the workplace or begin their shift.
    • Patrons must self-screen prior to attending the amenity.
    • People who become ill while at the amenity should go home immediately, and self-isolate. They should review the City of Toronto website for more information about COVID-19.
    • Remind staff and participants to stay at home when they are ill, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene before, during and after using the amenity.
    • Provide hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration for staff and patron use, if possible.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting
    • Washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
    • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects at least once a day and when visibly dirty. See Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings for more information.
    • If possible, assign staff to their own equipment (e.g. golf cart).
    • Encourage participants to bring their own gear for personal use, when practical and possible (e.g. helmet, water bottle, balls, rackets, training aids).
    • Any equipment rented or used by members of the public must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
    • Maintain premise HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order.

Safety Plan

  • Operators must prepare and make available a written safety plan.
  • The plan must describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19, including screening for symptoms, physical distancing, use of masks and/or personal protective equipment, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • Personal physical fitness trainers, and facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities shall also include information as to how the business, place or event will,
      • prevent gatherings and crowds in the business or place or at the event;
      • ensure that physical distancing and wearing of masks in lines as applicable is complied with in the business or place or at the event; and
      • mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games that may be included in the business or place or at the event.
  • The safety plan must be posted in a visible location and be available to anyone upon request.
  • Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to develop your safety plan.

Registrations and Reservations

  • Appointments/reservations with set time slots are recommended, where possible. Encourage online or telephone sales and registration processes.
  • Stagger arrivals and departures, where possible to reduce congestion at points of entry and exit and in common areas.
  • Increase time intervals between groups.
  • Ask participants to arrive no more than 10 minutes before their reserved time slot and leave the amenity immediately after the activity. This will help operators manage capacity and physical distancing. It will also allow others the opportunity to utilize the amenity.
  • Encourage participants to arrive at the amenity fully dressed/prepared for the activity.
  • Install physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass shield) at point of sale, registration and help desks where physical distancing between staff and participants is difficult.
  • Use a contactless process to log attendance (e.g. scanner), if necessary.

Practice Physical Distancing

  • All individuals must maintain at least two metres physical distancing from people they don’t live with indoors. Physical distancing is strongly recommended outdoors.
  • Offer programming/services outdoors whenever possible.
    • If using a tent or canopy, at least two full sides must be open to the outdoors and not substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers.
    • Limit capacity under the tent/canopy to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
    • Arrange tables and chairs to promote physical distancing.
    • Require masks or face coverings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, service desks or where appropriate.
  • Remove furniture/ equipment for ease of movement while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Use signs, pylons or other markers to encourage one-way traffic flow and physical distancing.
  • Use barriers or install plexiglass by the registration/cash area, and other locations that may involve close contact between customer and staff.
  • Install barriers/partitions or block off alternate amenities such as driving ranges/tee decks, benches, etc., as required and where possible, to allow for two metres distancing.
    • Power carts should not be shared unless riders belong to the same household or dividers are installed between riders. Have one dedicated driver and keep with the same seating arrangements for the duration of the game.
  • Discourage the congregation of participants before and after use of the amenity.

Wear a Mask

  • Toronto by-law 541-2020 and Ontario regulation requires the use of masks in all public indoor settings.
  • Masks must also be worn by all individuals, unless exempted, while driving or riding on an open air vehicle within the amenity (e.g. golf cart), unless those within the vehicle are members of the same household; and
  • Masks are strongly recommended outdoors if physical distancing is difficult.
  • Operators with indoor spaces that are open to the public are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Checklist on Mask By-law and Sample Policy.
  • Staff should be trained on the mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption is not required.
  • More information on the bylaw is available here.

Food & Drink

  • Indoor dining is not permitted. See Guidance for Food Premises for more information.
  • Water fountains can reopen with routine cleaning.
    • Encourage individuals to use a cup or reusable bottle, rather than drinking directly from the spout.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) are properly maintained.
  • Increase outdoor air-exchange by:
    • Maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or
    • Opening windows and doors, if it is safe to do so
  • Use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system, if provided.
  • Keep seating and activities away from air vents and areas with high airflow.
  • Do not obstruct HVAC inlets and outlets.
  • When using ceiling fans, use an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, position fan with an upward movement to avoid blowing of air across people and surfaces.
  • There is no evidence the use of portable air purifiers will prevent the spread of COVID-19. If used, follow the manufacturer’s directions to decide where best to place the device. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance.
  • For more information, review the COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Communications

  • Inform staff and patrons about amenity operations and new measures taken to keep everyone safe. Information should be updated on your website, by automated booking systems, telephone messages and/or e-mail subscriptions.
  • Print posters for entrances and other locations, including mandatory mask bylaw.
  • Encourage customers and staff to download the COVID Alert app. They may be notified if they have been in close contact with someone who test positive for COVID-19.

More Information

Visit our website at toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.

Other Resources

This document does not replace the need for applicable permits. COVID-19 mitigation and safety measures do not replace pre-existing permit requirements, health and safety practices, or conditions.


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The following checklist will help you understand the current rules and regulations for using indoor and outdoor sport, fitness and recreational amenities (e.g. gyms, fitness studios, parks, ice rinks, sports fields) and what steps should be taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Some of the locations where these activities take place are not managed by an organization or operator. Members of the public are responsible for following provincial and local regulations and recommendations.

Preparing for the activity

  • Get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if you are age 5 and older.
  • If required, be prepared to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination (i.e. vaccine receipt) and identification.
  • Download the COVID Alert app so you can be notified directly if you have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Book a reservation in advance, if required.
  • Complete a self-screening assessment before leaving home. If you answer YES to any of the questions, do not participate in the activity. Stay home, self-isolate and call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, your health care provider or an Assessment Centreto get tested.
  • Dress/put on equipment at home as much as possible to limit time spent in indoor facilities.
  • Bring your own equipment. Pack only essentials (e.g. water bottle, towel, equipment) and limit personal items as much as possible.
  • Wear your mask or face covering to the activity.

During the activity

  • Do not use any portion of the facility or area that is required to be closed.
  • If the facility / area looks crowded or has reached its capacity limit, come back another time.
  • Know and adhere to all facility policies and procedures.
  • Provide your name and contact information if asked by facility staff to be used for public health contact tracing purposes, if required.
  • Respect current provincial gathering limits.
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Wear a mask or face covering at all times when indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
    • Spectators are required to wear masks indoors and outdoors, with limited exceptions.
    • Follow directions from the facility if masks are required during the activity.
  • Follow directions from the facility for where to keep personal items. Place items at least two metres away from others.
  • Limit or modify team sports or games that may result in personal contact.
  • Maintain two metres physical distancing from those you don’t live with as much as possible.
  • Avoid sharing equipment. If you must, clean and disinfect items between each use.
  • Do not share personal items (e.g. water bottle, clothes, equipment).
  • Indoor food service premises on site are closed.

After the activity

  • If your mask or face covering was removed, put it on as soon as possible after the activity.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect any equipment that was used (e.g. racket, club, ball).
  • Launder clothes including towels and masks in the warmest possible setting and dry completely.

Download this information as a PDF.

Play is important to the well-being of children and communities. Sports, recreation, arts and culture activities build confidence and resilience, foster healthy social interactions and promote overall well-being. However, it’s important to know the risk of returning to these activities, particularly for young children who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Use the following information as a guide to help mitigate the risks so all children can return to activities as safely as possible:

Risk Factor

Reducing Risk

COVID-19 spread: People may be contagious before they show symptoms. Vaccination. Fully vaccinated people are less likely to get COVID-19 and spread infection.
Setting: Respiratory droplets and aerosols stay in the air longer when indoors, especially if airflow or ventilation is poor Host activities outdoors as much as possible. Ensure proper ventilation in all indoor settings including gymnasiums, fitness areas, arenas and change rooms.
Number of people and physical distancing: Large gatherings/groups reduces the space for physical distancing, and increases the number of potential contacts. Crowding increases the spread of COVID-19. Keep two metres physical distance as much as possible. Limit non-essential visitors, spectators and volunteers. Reduce group size and consider “cohorting” where participants are assigned to the same group/team even for different activities.
Masks: Masks cannot be worn during high intensity activities or water sports. Host activities outdoors. Encourage masking whenever possible, including before and after completion of the activity.
Equipment and gear: Shared equipment increases the number of high-touch surfaces. Wash hand or sanitize hands before and after using shared equipment. Avoid sharing equipment as much as possible or clean and sanitize frequently used equipment between users.
Travel: Travel to other communities for competition or performances. Limit travel to other communities as much as possible. Have protocols in place for safe travel, recognizing that carpooling increases the spread of COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 prevention measures, see COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses & Community Organizations.