Last updated: January 14, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

A province-wide declaration of emergency and stay-at-home order are in effect.

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.

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. In this document, garden member refers to gardeners at community and allotment gardens. This document provides interim directions for managers and participants 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. Review COVID-19 Guidance for Community Agencies for more information.

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is greater in older adults (age 70+), 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.
  • Keep a two metre/six foot distance from those you don’t live with.
  • Respect the provincial Emergency Order for gatherings:
    • Do not gather indoors except with people you live with.
    • Do not gather with more than 5 people outdoors.
  • Wear a mask when visiting indoor public spaces, and when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing of two metres/six feet when outdoors.

Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Prior to entering or exiting the gardens, every person must wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. If warm water is not available, wash your hands with cold water and soap and then apply hand sanitizer.
  • If hands are visibly soiled, handwashing with soap and water is preferred.
  • If soap and water are not available, hands must be wiped 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 wash 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 and dated 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.

Self-screening

  • Every person visiting the garden must complete a self-assessment for COVID-19. If they answer YES to any of the questions they should not participate in community gardening.
  • All garden members and managers should be aware of symptoms of COVID-19.

Entrance Restrictions

  • Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or has had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 cannot enter a community or allotment garden.
  • 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

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect high traffic areas, and frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g. entrances/exits, tool sheds, water spigots and hoses, waste containers, and common areas).
  • High touch surfaces and items in common areas must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • In general, regular household cleaners such as bleach, or alcohol-based solutions are acceptable.
  • Review Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings document.

Equipment and Tools Requirements

  • Avoid sharing tools and equipment, if possible.
  • If you must share tools and equipment, disinfect after each use.
  • Do not share gardening gloves.
  • Gardening gloves should be laundered after each use.
  • Wash 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
    • create a schedule to minimize crowding at the garden and to understand who was at the garden when 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.
  • If a garden member or manager tests positive for COVID-19, TPH will follow-up with close contacts who may include other garden members. Other garden members who came in close contact with the infected member may also be required to self-isolate.
  • Encourage members and visitors 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, effective 12:01 a.m. on November 23. Under the provincial order, dance studios must close.

Golf courses and driving ranges are not permitted to open during the province-wide shutdown.

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 gyms and recreational programs must close.

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 gyms and recreational programs must close.

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.

Toronto is currently in the grey lockdown zone of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework. This guidance document describes the requirements that outdoor ice rinks must comply with under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Owners and operators of outdoor ice rinks 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, attendees). See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 82/20 for more information.

Information for the public can be found in the COVID-19 Checklist for Outdoor Winter Sports & Activities.

Closures

  • Team sports are not permitted.
  • Instructional programs are not permitted.
  • Activities likely to result in individuals coming within two metres/six feet of each other are not permitted.
  • Food and drink are not to be consumed at the facility, but may be purchased for take-away only.
  • Locker rooms, change rooms, and showers are closed.
    • Exception: if required to provide access to equipment storage, a washroom, or a portion of the facility is used to provide first aid.

Capacity limits

  • The total number of patrons permitted at the facility participating in organized programs/activities must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other people.
  • It is strongly recommended to restrict capacity to 25 people.
  • Designate and manage entry and exit points to control the number of people entering the facility. 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. Encourage online or telephone sales and registration processes.
  • Encourage participants to only register and attend the rink with persons from their household.
    • Ask participants to arrive no more than 10 minutes before their reserved time slot and leave the facility immediately after the activity. This will help operators manage capacity and physical distancing. It will also allow others the opportunity to utilize amenity.
  • Remind participants that change rooms are closed, with the exception of washroom use.
    • It is recommended that participants arrive at the facility fully dressed, except for skates.
  • 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.
  • Encourage electronic payment by debit or credit card, and to tap instead of using the PIN pad.

Safety Requirements

  • Caregivers are encouraged to accompany young children. Children 5 years of age and under must be accompanied by caregiver.
  • For leisure skate at City of Toronto-owned ice surfaces, a CSA approved helmet is mandatory for children under the age of 6, and highly recommended for all other skaters.

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 participants safe, including:

  • Health screening for staff
    • Actively screen all staff before they enter the facility. Questions can be answered on paper, online or by asking people directly.
  • Staff and participant attendance, including operations
    • Collect contact information for all individuals who enter an indoor area of the facility.
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace

Workplace Safety Plan

Operators must prepare and make available a safety plan, and the plan must:

  • Be available no later than seven days after the requirement first applies.
  • 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, disinfecting and personal protective equipment (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.

Health Screening for Participants

  • Participants are required to complete a screening questionnaire prior to attending an outdoor ice rink. If they answer YES to any of the questions, they should stay home, self-isolate and call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their health care provider, or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
  • Remind participants to stay at home when they are ill, even if symptoms are mild.
  • People who become ill while at the facility should go home immediately, in a private vehicle if possible, and self-isolate. They should review the City of Toronto website for more information about COVID-19.

Promote Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing of at least two metres/six feet is required at all times except for individuals living in the same household. This includes while skating, walking through the facility, and putting on and removing skates. Caregivers must also maintain physical distancing while waiting for their child(ren).
  • Discourage the congregation of participants before and after use of the facility.

Modify the space

Plan and modify the layout of your facility to ensure enough space is provided for staff and participants to maintain physical distancing.

  • Use cues (e.g. stickers) to promote physical distancing where appropriate (e.g. designate where each person should put on and take off their skates).
  • Design traffic flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or ground markings.
  • Ensure enough space for people in high traffic areas.
  • Identify areas where crowding and bottlenecks are common, such as washrooms, and use staff or barriers to redirect people who may gather in these areas.

Modify programming

  • Cancel activities where physical distancing or other appropriate controls cannot be implemented.
  • Allow sufficient time between activities to allow safe and distanced exit and entry, and sufficient environmental cleaning in between.

Monitor and manage lines

  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, service desks or otherwise.
  • Place visual/textural markers spaced two metres/six feet apart (e.g. pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide participants.
  • Physical distancing and the use of masks/face coverings for guests waiting/lining-up outside is mandatory under Provincial Order Reg. 82/20
  • Assign staff to monitor lines and to make public announcements reminding participants to keep two metres/six feet apart and wear a mask.

Use of Masks and Face Coverings

  • All staff and participants must wear a mask or face covering indoors (e.g. while accessing washrooms), as per the City of Toronto bylaw and Reg. 82/20.
  • 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 the City of Toronto bylaw, and train staff accordingly. More information is available here.

Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • A surgical/procedure (medical) mask and eye protection must be used by workers when they are unable to maintain physical distance of at least two metres/six feet from any unmasked individuals where a physical barrier is not present.
  • The employer must determine what PPE is required and ensure that it is worn by workers.
  • Educate staff on the proper use and disposal of masks and PPE.

Practice Proper Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene before, during and after using the facility.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash 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.

Enhance cleaning and disinfection

  • Any equipment rented or used must be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
    • Establish and post clear policies requiring wipe down equipment before and after every use.
    • Provide adequate supplies and garbage bins for disposing used materials.
    • Encourage participants to bring their own gear for personal use, when practical and possible (e.g. helmet, water bottle, training aids).
  • Do not use equipment or fixed structures that cannot be cleaned between each use.
  • Assign staff to complete environmental cleaning and disinfection duties.
  • 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.
  • Ensure washrooms, hand sinks and water fountains are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
    • Water fountains should only be used to re-fill water bottles. Do not allow individuals to drink directly from them.
  • Provide waste receptacles lined with a plastic bag, and empty as often as necessary.

Increase Public Health Awareness

  • Provide information to staff and participants about facility operations (e.g. public health measures, available amenities) through different communication platforms (e.g. web, email social media).
  • Encourage staff and participants 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.
  • Download information and display posters in high visibility areas in your setting to promote messages about how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Other Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

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. Revised or updated guidance may be issued to further control the spread of infection or loosen restrictions. Please check our website periodically for updates.

Outdoor Playground and Fitness Equipment

  • Prior to opening, inspect all equipment to verify its safety.
  • Outdoor equipment does not need to be sanitized.
  • Encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene. Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid group gatherings, and adopt strategies to encourage two metre/six foot distancing as much as possible.

Signage

Post signs in highly visible locations to remind everyone to practice preventative measures. Signs can include the following points:

  • Notice that the playground and fitness equipment are not sanitized.
  • Gathering restrictions and to avoid close contact, where applicable.
  • Self-Screening for COVID-19 symptoms, and to go home if they have symptoms.
  • Physical distancing poster, ground markers, or other cues to stay two metres/six feet apart when waiting to use equipment.

Modify Layouts

  • Move benches to ensure they are at least two metres/six feet apart, where possible.
  • Remove picnic tables from playground areas to avoid people congregating.
  • Install hands-free garbage bins near the playground.

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

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.
  • 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.
  • Considerations include:
    • Clean high-touch surfaces, made of plastic or metal between groups of children.
    • Cleaning removes dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces.
    • Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but it reduces the number of germs on a surface.
    • Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces is not recommended.
    • Refer to Public Health Ontario guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces.
    • Ensure staff are trained on handling of cleaning chemicals and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Always follow the manufacture’s label, and avoid mixing chemical products.

Personal measures for participants and families using playgrounds

  • Pre-planning and protective measures families can take to keep each other safe include:
  • Teach children proper handwashing, 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), wipes, bottled water, sun screen and personal items.
  • Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing. Do not apply a mask on children under the age of two.
  • Wash hands before and after using outdoor playground.
  • If the playground is busy, find another park or go back later.

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.

Toronto is currently in lockdown (Grey Zone of the Province’s COVID-19 Response Framework). Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that their recreational water facility is in compliance with all orders made under the Reopening Ontario Act, in addition to Ontario Regulation 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.

Closures

  • During lockdown, all facilities for indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g. facilities which contain a Class A Pool) 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, 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.
    • Lifeguard training and certification courses are permitted. See conditions below.

Mandatory Use of Masks or Face Coverings

  • The use of masks or face coverings is mandatory in all indoor public settings, as per Ontario Regulation 82/20 and City of Toronto By-law 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 by-law, 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.

Measures for All Workplaces, Businesses & Organizations

Employers must have written measures and procedures for staff safety, including for infection prevention and control. Review TPHs Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and bathers safe, including:

  • Staff attendance and operations
  • Health screening for staff and customers
    • Class A or supervised Class B pools: It is strongly recommended that owners and operators conduct active in-person health screening for all staff and bathers before entering the facility.
    • Unsupervised Class B pools, spas, wading pools or splash pads: Where in-person screening cannot be conducted by staff on-site, encourage staff and bathers to self-screen for COVID-19 prior to entry.
  • Use of masks and face coverings
    • Staff must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) that covers their eyes, nose and mouth if, while providing service in an indoor area, they are:
      • required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering; and
      • 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 should 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) should 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.
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace

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.

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.

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 Ontario Regulation 565/90 – Public Pools.

Staff Training

  • Staff should receive clear instructions on the mandatory mask and face covering policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. 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). Encourage staff to continue to maintain physical distancing in these areas.
  • Educate staff on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Train staff on the proper use of personal protective equipment (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. COVID-19 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.

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 two metres (six feet) from others.
  • Post signage at the entrance stating of 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 Ontario Regulation 565/90 – Public Pools.

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 (six feet) 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 (six feet) 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).

Lifeguard Training and Certification

  • The provision of health and safety training, such as lifeguard training and certification, is permitted as per Ontario Regulation 82/20 with the following conditions:
  • The instructional space enables students to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres (six feet) 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 (six feet) 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/six feet 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/six feet 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.

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


Download this information as a PDF.

Read Toronto Public Health’s checklist for winter sports and activities.