Last updated: April 16, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

On April 16, the Government of Ontario announced that effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m., all outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courses, soccer fields, and playgrounds will be closed, with limited exceptions. This page will soon be updated with more information.

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.

The public can learn what to expect at beaches, dog parks, parks, swimming pools, and tennis courts as well as public washrooms.

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.

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is greater in older adults, individuals with a weak immune system, and individuals with a pre-existing medical condition. Toronto Public Health (TPH) strongly encourages residents who are at higher risk of contracting and becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 infection to limit interaction with others, stay home as much as possible and take additional precautions.

Reduce the risk of transmission

  • Stay at home when you are ill even if symptoms are mild.
  • Keep at least a two metre (six feet) distance from those you don’t live with.
  • 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:
    • 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.
      • This can be calculated taking the total square metres of area accessible to the public, dividing that number by 8 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
    • Organized public events or social gatherings cannot exceed 5 people outdoors. See COVID-19 Guidance for Indoor & Outdoor Events & Gatherings for more information.
    • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and outdoors when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing.

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.

Declaration from garden manager and garden members

  • Each garden manager and garden member must sign the Toronto Public Health Community and Allotment Garden Declaration, which states that garden managers and members must adhere to the interim directions.
  • Signed, dated and returned declarations for all members of community gardens must be kept by community garden managers and must be made available to TPH upon request in order to investigate a positive case of COVID-19, should one be detected.
  • Signed and dated declarations are required before a garden member can participate in an allotment garden in order to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Allotment garden permit holders must keep a log of all garden visits. The log must be made available to TPH upon request to support COVID-19 contact tracing, if necessary.

Self-screening

Entrance Restrictions

  • Anyone who answers YES to any of the screening questions should stay home and not attend the community gardening.
  • No visitors are permitted to community or allotment gardens.
  • Access to the garden is only permitted to plant, maintain and harvest food. No events, training, or other programming is allowed.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Requirements

Equipment and Tools Requirements

  • 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.

Required 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 (TPH) 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.

Other resources


Download this information as a PDF.

Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. Under the provincial order, dance studios must close.

Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. Under the provincial order, all indoor gyms and recreational programs must close.

A facility for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities may open if it meets the following conditions, as applicable:

  • The facility must open solely for the purpose of providing space for any, some or all of the following:
    • A child care centre or authorized recreational and skill building program within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
    • Mental health or substance use support services; no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the space.
    • The provision of social services.
  • The person responsible for the facility must:
    • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends the space, and
    • maintain the records for at least one month, and then shred the records.

A facility for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities may 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.
    • support persons or service animals as may be necessary for the person with a disability; and
    • staff required to operate the facility and support the provision of the physical therapy.
  • The facility must have established a health and safety protocol for the use of the facility as required by O. Reg. 82/20. 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, and
    • maintain the records for at least one month and then shred.

*It is not mandatory for the facilities to open if they do not wish to do so.

For more information, see Guidance for facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities during COVID-19 province-wide shutdown for persons with disabilities .

A facility may be open for both purposes described above if the facility meets the conditions in both subsections.

See COVID-19 Guidance: Employers, Workplaces & Businesses for more information on preventing and managing COVID-19 within your facility

No indoor or outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted at any indoor or utdoor sports and recreational fitness facilities.

Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, effective 12:01 a.m. on November 23. Under the provincial order, all indoor playgrounds must close.

On April 16, the Government of Ontario announced that effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m., all outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courses, soccer fields, and playgrounds will be closed, with limited exceptions. This page will soon be updated with more information.

Read Toronto Public Health’s Guidance for Outdoor Playgrounds and Fitness Equipment (also available below) and download the outdoor playgrounds poster (also available in tabloid size and 18 x 24 inches).


COVID-19 Guidance for Outdoor Playgrounds and Fitness Equipment

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. 82/20 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, including:

  • Staff attendance and operations
  • Health screening
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace

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. 82/20.

  • Organizations with indoor spaces that are open to the public must develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Refer to the guidance on mask and face covering bylaw for a 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 clients or customers 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

  • Prior to opening, inspect all equipment to verify its safety.
  • Outdoor equipment does not need to be sanitized.
  • Adopt strategies to encourage participants to maintain at least two metre/six foot physical distancing as much as possible. Discourage group gatherings.
  • Participants may bring and take home their own toys or sports equipment. These personal items should be washed with hot soapy water when you return home.

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/six feet apart at all times, including while waiting to use equipment.
  • Hand hygiene posters to encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Signs are available in multiple languages.

Modify Layouts

  • Move benches, toys and equipment to ensure they are at least two metres/six feet apart, where possible.
  • Remove picnic tables from playground areas to avoid people congregating.

Drinking Fountains

  • Water fountains may remain open. Clean and disinfect at least twice daily.
  • 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.

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 at least twice daily.
  • 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

  • Teach children how to properly wash their hands, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and to cover their cough.
  • Monitor yourself and your child for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you or your child is sick.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration), disinfecting wipes, bottled water, sun screen and personal items.
  • Keep at least two metres/six feet from people you don’t live with, when possible.
  • 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.
  • If the playground is busy, find another park or go back later.
  • 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.

On April 16, the Government of Ontario announced that effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m., all outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courses, soccer fields, and playgrounds will be closed, with limited exceptions. This page will soon be updated with more information.

This guidance document describes the requirements that outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, driving ranges, tennis courts, 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. 82/20 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.

Information for the public can be found in the COVID-19 Checklist for Using Outdoor Recreational Amenities.

Provincial Orders (O. Reg. 82/20)

  • A number of outdoor recreational amenities are permitted to open with restrictions, including driving ranges, golf courses, tennis courts, soccer, football and sports fields, etc. See Reg. 82/20 Section 4 of Schedule 3 for a full list of amenities.
  • Team sports must not be practised or played within the amenity, with the exception of training sessions for members of a sports team that do not include games or scrimmage games.
  • Other sports, games or activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within two metres of each other are not permitted.
  • Locker rooms, change rooms, showers, clubhouses, pools, meeting rooms, fitness centres or other recreational facilities on the premises must be closed.
    • Exception: if required to provide access to equipment storage, a washroom, or a portion of the facility is used to provide first aid.
  • Facilities with restaurants or food premises can open for take-out and delivery only.
  • The number of members of the public at any facility or business, including facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities, must be limited so that:
    • physical distancing can be maintained, and
    • the total number does not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the facility.
  • Organized gatherings or events cannot exceed 5 people outdoors. See COVID-19 Guidance for Indoor & Outdoor Events & Gatherings for more information.

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.
    • All 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
    • Encourage participants to bring their own gear for personal use, when practical and possible (e.g. helmet, water bottle, balls, rackets, training aids).
    • If possible, assign staff to their own equipment (e.g. golf cart).
    • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects in staff and public areas at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
    • 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.

Workplace 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, and frequent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • The safety plan must be posted in a visible location and be available to anyone upon request.
  • Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklistto develop your safety plan.

Limit Capacity

  • The number of members of the public at any facility or business, including facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities, must be limited so that:
    • physical distancing can be maintained, and
    • the total number does not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the facility. This can be calculated taking the total square metres of area accessible to the public, dividing that number by 8 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
  • 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.
  • Stagger arrivals and departures, where possible, to reduce congestion at points of entrance and exit and in common areas.

Registrations and Reservations

  • Appointments/reservations with set time slots are recommended, where possible. Encourage online or telephone sales and registration processes.
  • Increase time intervals between groups.
  • Encourage participants to only register and attend the amenity with persons from their household.
    • Ask participants to arrive no more than 10-20 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.
  • Remind participants that change rooms are closed, with the exception of washroom use.
    • It is recommended that participants 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 who enter or use the amenity must maintain at least two metres/six feet physical distancing from others, unless from the same household.
  • 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/six feet distancing.
    • Power carts can be shared if 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 mask in all public indoor settings.
  • Masks must also be worn by all individuals, unless exempted, while:
    • waiting in line outside or within the establishment;
    • 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
    • outdoors if physical distancing is difficult.
  • Operators 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.

Indoor Facilities/Clubhouse

  • Clubhouses, locker rooms, changes rooms, showers, pools, meeting rooms, fitness centres or other recreational facilities on the premises must be closed, except to provide access to equipment storage, a washroom or a portion of the amenity that is used to provide first aid.
  • Indoor events and gatherings are not permitted. Outdoor gatherings cannot exceed 5 people.
  • Background music should not exceed normal conversation decibel level.
  • Maintain premise HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Indoor retail (e.g. Pro Shop) is permitted to operate, as per Guidance for Retail Settings.

Team Sports

  • Team sports are currently not permitted, with the exception of training sessions for members of a sports team that do not include games or scrimmage games.
  • Training sessions must follow all applicable health and safety measures. Refer to applicable sports association for additional information.

Instructional Programs and Day Camps

  • Instructional programs are not permitted.
  • Day camps for children are not permitted.

Food Premise or Service

Communications

  • Inform staff and customers 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.

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.


Download this information as a PDF.

The following guidance should be used by owners and operators of recreational water facilities, including public pools, spas, wading pools and splash pads, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that their recreational water facility is in compliance with all orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, in addition to O. Reg. 565/90 – Public Pools. As every recreational water facility is different, it is the responsibility of owners and operators to review their own policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained.

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.

Closures

  • Facilities for indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities must close unless they meet the conditions set out in Reg. 82/20, schedule 2, section 48.
  • Hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts and other shared rental accommodation, including student residences, must ensure any indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas or whirlpools, indoor fitness centres, or other indoor recreational facilities that are part of the operation of these businesses, are closed, per Reg. 82/20, schedule 2, Section 25.
  • All apartment buildings must close non-essential common areas, including, pools and spas (whirlpool, hot tubs), to be consistent with provincial restrictions, as per Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings.
  • Toronto Public Health (TPH) strongly recommends that all condominiums close non-essential common areas, including pools and spas (whirlpool, hot tubs) to be consistent with provincial restrictions.
    • Pools and spas that remain open in condominiums must comply with provincial gathering restrictions. At this time, the use of indoor pools and spas must be limited to only members of a single household at one time.
  • Aquatic instruction, including learn to swim and swimming classes, are currently not permitted. However, lifeguard training and certification courses are permitted as long as they meet the conditions set out in Reg. 82/20. See below for more information.

Measures for All Workplaces, Businesses & Organizations

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

  • Health screening for staff and customers
    • Actively screen every person that works at the business or organization before they enter the premises of the business or organization. See sample Staff Screening Questionnaire.
    • Post signs at all entrances to the premises in a conspicuous location visible to the public to inform individuals on how to self-screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises.
    • Class A or supervised Class B pools: in addition to the above requirements, it is strongly recommended that owners and operators actively screen bathers before entering the facility.
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • A person shall wear appropriate PPE that provides protection of their eyes, nose and mouth if, in the course of providing services, the person:
      • is required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering during any period when that person is in an indoor area; and
      • is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier from a person described above.
    • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
      • Encourage staff and bathers to practice hand hygiene prior to, during, and after use of the recreational water facility.
    • Cleaning and disinfection
      • Ensure locker rooms, change rooms, showers and washrooms are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
      • Equipment that is rented to, provided to, or provided for the use of the public must be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
      • Rescue equipment (e.g. throwing-aids, reaching poles) and shared equipment (e.g. lifejackets, flutter boards, clip boards) must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
    • Attendance records for contact tracing
      • Class A pools: Record the name and contact information (e.g. phone or email) of every member of the public with a date, check in and check out time.
      • Class B pools: Use a sign-in book for residents to leave their name and unit number, with a date, check in and check out time.
      • Maintain these records for a period of at least one month.
    • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace

Mandatory Use of Masks or Face Coverings

  • The use of masks or face coverings is mandatory in all indoor public settings, as per Reg. 82/20 and City of Toronto Bylaw 541-2020.
  • Masks or face coverings are strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Facility owners and operators must develop a policy on the wearing of masks, as per City of Toronto bylaw, and train staff on the policy. More information is available here.
  • Masks or face coverings may be temporarily removed while engaging in an athletic or fitness activity (e.g. swimming).
  • Masks must be worn on the recreational water facility deck and in other areas of the facility.

Safety Plan

Business operators are required to prepare and make available a safety plan. Pools and spas located within other businesses (e.g. condo, sports facility) should be considered in that facility’s safety plan. This safety plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, and the wearing of PPE.
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.
  • See COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist available in: [PDF] and [Fillable PDF] and Instructions for Completing the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist for more information.

Capacity Limits

The following are suggestions for achieving compliance with this requirement:

  • Set a capacity limit for the number of staff and bathers allowed in the facility at any given time. Do the same for individual areas, such as change rooms.
  • The capacity limit should be based on the layout and available space within the facility to ensure ease of movement while maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from others.
  • Post signage at the entrance stating the maximum number of bathers permitted at any one time.
  • Consider implementing appointments or time limits for the use of the facility so that capacity is more easily controlled.
  • Monitor to ensure adherence to the capacity limit.
  • Remove furniture (e.g. chairs, benches, picnic tables) to accommodate the reduced facility capacity (e.g. resting and spectator areas).

Note: Facilities must ensure that the total number of bathers permitted at any one time on the deck and in the pool does not exceed the maximum bather load as determined by O. Reg. 565/90 – Public Pools.

Staff Training

  • Staff should receive clear instructions on the mandatory mask and face covering policy, and understand who is exempt. Proof of exemption is not required.
  • Educate staff on the proper use of masks/face coverings. They should change masks when moist or dirty, but in areas away from customers (e.g. lunch room, private office).
  • Discourage staff from gathering together in common areas (e.g. lunch room). Staff must continue to maintain physical distancing in these areas.
  • Educate staff on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Train staff on the proper use of PPE (e.g. gloves, masks, face shield), when required. Refer to Public Health Ontario
  • Inform staff that physical distancing must not compromise safety supervision or the bathers’ safety (e.g. rescues, first aid).
  • Lifeguards who are actively providing safety supervision should not be expected to monitor adherence to measures outlined in this document (e.g. health screening, physical distancing). These responsibilities should be assigned to another staff member.
  • Train staff on safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission during first aid and resuscitation. For additional information, consult industry experts such as the Lifesaving Society and the Canadian Red Cross.

Physical Distancing

  • Post physical distancing signs throughout the facilities, including at all entrances, change rooms, washrooms decks, etc.
  • Remind staff and bathers to maintain a physical distance of two metres from people they don’t live with, as best as possible.
  • Monitor capacity of the facility, change rooms and other areas as appropriate.
  • If capacity is reached and physical distancing is difficult or not possible, advise facility users to return at another time.
  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing, where appropriate (e.g. entrances, showers, pool deck, diving boards).
  • Stagger the flow of people entering and exiting the facility to prevent crowding.
  • Design a walking flow for the whole facility (e.g. creating one-directional walking paths with prominent signage and/or floor markings), where appropriate (e.g. showers, change rooms, pool deck).
  • Encourage physical distancing in the water and on the deck (e.g. one-directional swimming lanes with prominent signage and/or deck markings, reminders to leisure bathers).
  • Stagger times for lap swims, training and other activities or programs.
  • Remind staff and bathers not to share items including water bottles, equipment and supplies.
  • Place markers or circles so bathers know where to stand when waiting or interacting with staff.
  • Install plexiglass/barriers, if possible, where there will be close contact between staff and bathers (e.g. service counters, cashiers).
  • Block off amenities that are immediately next to each other, where possible (e.g., showers, lockers, sinks)
  • Arrange furniture a minimum of two metres apart, and place signs/notices in fixed seating spaces (e.g., poolside benches).
    • Mark furniture locations so that they may be repositioned easily (e.g. tape/paint on the floor).

Managing Lines

  • Operators must ensure that patrons lining up or congregating outside their facility:
    • Maintain at least two metres physical distancing from other groups of people, and
    • Wear a mask or face covering, unless entitled to an exemption.
  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing while waiting outside.

Lifeguard Training and Certification

  • The provision of health and safety training, such as lifeguard training and certification, is permitted as per Reg. 82/20 with the following conditions:
  • The instructional space enables students to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the instructional space, except where necessary for effective teaching and instruction.
  • The total number of students permitted to be in each instructional space at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, and cannot exceed 10 persons.
  • Virtual classes or training are recommended, wherever possible.
  • For training that requires the instructor and/or students to be less than two metres apart, considerations should include:
    • Wearing masks (e.g. in shallow area of pool, on deck), if possible and safe to do so.
    • Practising the activity that requires less than two metres distance for as little time as possible.
    • Ensuring students and instructors keep a physical distance from each other during the class at all other times as much as possible.
  • Where possible, training should operate in cohort groups, and remain the same each time the group meets.
  • Allow adequate time to clean and disinfect any shared equipment after each use.

Water Filtration and Disinfection

  • Adequate filtration and disinfection of water should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Ensure the facility’s water filtration and disinfection systems (i.e. with chlorine or bromine) are maintained and operating properly.
  • Where required, disinfectant levels in public pools, spas, wading pools and splash pads must be maintained according to Reg. 565/90 – Public Pools.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

  • Increase the introduction and circulation of outdoor air by maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or by opening windows and doors, where possible. Avoid recirculating air.
  • Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk.
  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) are properly maintained.
  • Where provided, use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system.
  • Keep areas near HVAC inlets and outlets clear.
    • Seating and activities should be arranged away from areas with high airflow (i.e. not in front of air vents).
  • Rooms where indoor ceiling fans are used should have an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, limit the blowing of air across people and surfaces by positioning them to provide an upward movement of air.
  • For more information, review TPHs COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Communication

  • Inform staff and bathers about the changes you have made to protect them against COVID-19, such as using posters, updated websites, email or social media accounts.
  • Designate a contact person (e.g. supervisor) to respond to COVID-19 concerns from staff and bathers.
  • Post information in highly visible areas, including at entrances, service counters, cashiers, and washrooms as a reminder for everyone to practice public health measures:

Other Resources


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