Last updated: August 5, 2020 at 5:25 p.m.

 

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.

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, such as those over the age of 70, to limit interaction with others, and stay home as much as possible. If you are an older adult (aged 70+), an individual with a weak immune system, or an individual with a medical condition, it is recommended that you take additional precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Infection prevention and control measures to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 are as follows:

Reduce the risk of transmission

  • Stay at home when you are ill.
  • Practice physical distancing, and maintain a two metre (six feet) distance from others who are not part of your household or social circle when at the garden.
  • Respect the provincial Emergency Order that prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people indoors and 100 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 an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70 to 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.

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 a garden must complete the self-assessment for COVID-19 on the Ontario Ministry of Health website. If they do not pass the assessment they should not participate in community gardening until they pass the assessment and do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Gardeners can visit the City’s website to determine if further care is required and to learn about assessment centres.
  • 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.
  • Gardening gloves are recommended as a way to maintain good hand hygiene while gardening.

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, in a private vehicle if possible, 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.

Download this information as a PDF.

This guidance provides simple strategies for operators to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep everyone safe. Whether private or public, each golf course is unique. It is therefore the responsibility of each facility to review their policies and set up to ensure that infection prevention and control measures are followed. Stay informed through our website at toronto.ca/COVID19, as information changes frequently.

New bylaw on use of masks or face coverings

The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw. Operators are required to develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks. Train staff on the new bylaw policy, including who is exempt and the proper use of a cloth mask or face covering. More information about the bylaw is available here. The mask bylaw has a set fine of $1,000 for each offence.

Infection Control Measures

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Keep two metres/six feet distance from non-household members.
  • Greet others with a smile, wave or nod from a distance, in place of handshakes.
  • Clean hands often, using soap and water or hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration.
  • Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
  • Cover cough or sneeze into elbow or a tissue.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when indoors and if physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch items, surfaces, and washrooms.

Hand Hygiene

Frequent handwashing is a good for everyone. When that is not possible, have hand sanitizer dispensers (70-90% alcohol concentration) available in all communal areas.

  • Wash or disinfect hands after interacting with co-workers/ customers or completing tasks.
  • Encourage frequent handwashing with signs in washrooms and high traffic areas.
  • Provide hand sanitizer by entrances, service counters and other high-touch locations.
  • Monitor and top up supplies of liquid soap, paper towels and sanitizers as needed.

Staff Training

  • All staff need to be trained on symptoms of COVID-19 and how the virus can spread in the workplace.
  • Inform staff about what steps are being taken to protect them, and how they can protect themselves, including proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Encourage staff to work separately, and not in pairs/groups when possible.
  • Staff should receive clear instructions on the new mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption by customers is not required.
  • Educate staff on the proper use of masks/face coverings. Change masks away from customers when moist or dirty. Staff may remove their mask in an area not accessible by the public (e.g. lunch room, private office). More information on use of non-medical masks or face coverings can be found here.

Staff Health Screening and Attendance

  • All staff should complete a health screening questionnaire before each work shift. The questions can be completed on paper, online or by asking staff directly.
  • Remind staff about the importance of reporting illness to their supervisor/manager and not to come to work when they are ill.
  • Maintain flexible policies so employees can stay home to care for a sick family member, or if they must self-isolate because they were in close contact with a person with COVID-19.
  • While at work, if staff becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms, they should go home right away and self-isolate. Instruct them to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their health care provider or an Assessment Centre to get testing.
  • In general, staff can return to work 14 days after their symptoms began if they had COVID-19.
  • There are no clearance tests required for staff to return to work. Be flexible about requirements for a doctor’s note.
  • For other illnesses, or if a staff has tested negative for COVID-19, they should not attend work until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Print posters for your premise:

Download and print posters for entrances and/or other locations:

Information can also be communicated on the golf course website, through automated booking systems, telephone messages and/or e-mail subscriptions.

Health Screening of All Golfers

  • When booking tee off time, encourage all golfers to review the health screening questions before arriving at the course.
  • The questionnaire can be posted online and at the front entrance and check-in areas. Do not permit entry if customer has symptoms.

COVID-19 Outbreaks and Contact Tracing

  • Develop a preparedness and response plan in the event someone becomes ill with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Keep a list of the names and contact information of staff and golfers by date and time. Toronto Public Health will use this list to notify and provide instructions for close contacts to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Any personal information that is collected for COVID-19 contract tracing can only be used for this purpose, unless an individual provides their consent. Records should only be kept for 30 days, and then shredded.
  • Contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 for guidance if you have been notified that an employee has tested positive and/or you have concerns that employees may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the workplace. Maintain confidentiality of employees’ personal health information.

Preparing Golfers

Guidance and advice for golfers should be posted on the website and tee-time booking pages:

  • Tee times must be reserved in advance, either online or by telephone.
  • Golf course/club is accessible to golfers and employees only.
  • No events, tournaments, camps or programs are permitted.
  • No visitors or walk-ins are permitted.
  • Limit lessons and clinics as much as possible, and maintain physical distancing at all times.
  • Encourage golfers to bring their own hand sanitizer, sunscreen, water, or other personal items.
  • Advise golfers to arrive no earlier than 20 minutes before their scheduled start time, and not to congregate in the parking lot.
  • Advise golfers there is no bunker rake, and to do the best they can to smooth the sand using clubs and/or their feet.
  • Indoor dining areas and indoor lounges should be closed.
  • Limit access to locker rooms, club storage and other common areas.
  • Food and beverage services should be limited to include beverage cart service on the course with optional outdoor patios or food take out only.

Pro Shop

  • Limit entry to two patrons at a time.
  • Mask or face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces.
  • Use floor markings and barriers to manage traffic flow and physical distancing.
  • Remove furniture/ equipment to allow ease of movement while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Offer scorecards and pencils at the starter hut, upon request. Advise golfers not to share pencils.
  • Install plexiglass or other barriers by the registration/cash area, and other locations that may involve close contact between customer and staff.
  • Use non-contact features at checkout such as e-transfer instead of cash, when possible.

Practice Facilities

  • Installing barriers/partitions or rope off alternate driving range to allow for 6 feet distancing.
  • Reduce the number of practice holes on putting greens.

Power Carts, Pull Carts and Rentals

  • Encourage golfers to bring their own clubs and pull carts if possible.
  • Do not share clubs or ball with other players.
  • Encourage golfers to walk, unless it will delay other groups.
  • Limited power carts to one per player unless golfers are from the same household.
  • Power carts can be shared if plexiglass barriers are installed between riders. Have one dedicated driver and keep with the same seating arrangements for the duration of the game.
  • Provide sanitizing wipes for customers to use on carts and hand held baskets.
  • Cleaned and sanitized rental power carts and pull carts after every use.

Start/During Play

  • Increase tee time intervals between groups.
  • Provide dedicated waiting areas with signs for the next group to wait until cleared to approach the tee box.
  • Starters should direct players and start groups off the first tee to ensure spacing of players.
  • Marshalls should patrol and enforce the pace of play. Discourage players from congregating on the course.
  • Water fountains can reopen with routine cleaning, twice daily.
  • Instruct players not to touch flagsticks/pin. When the player’s ball hits the filler, consider it holed.
  • Ask golfers to leave the course after completing their round.
  • If a golfer becomes ill while on the course, send them home immediately or offer to call for emergency service, if required.

Limit Communal Items

  • Limit the number of staff using course equipment (e.g. mowers, leaf blower, turf sprayers)
  • If possible, assign staff to their own equipment (e.g. golf cart).
  • Ball washers should be removed or covered up.
  • Bunker rakes, ball-retrievers, sand bottles, garbage lids and benches should be removed.
  • Flagsticks can stay, but instruct players not to touch them. Use a hole liner or elevate the cup to prevent the ball from falling below the surface so it can be easily retrieved by handling the ball only.
  • Common areas should have disinfectant wipes. If wipes are not available, general disinfectants can be used.

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Educate staff on the proper use of cleaning agents and disinfectants, including required disinfectant contact times (amount of time that the product will need to remain wet on a surface to achieve disinfection). Understand safety precautions and requirement for use of mask and gloves.
  • Schedule cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces at least twice a day and more frequently as needed. High-touch surfaces and common areas include vehicle door handles, entrances/exits, pay terminals, waste bins, door handles, counters, cabinet doors, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, hand rails, touch screen surfaces, keypads, cell phones, keys, golf course equipment, powered hand tools, steering wheels, radio controls, rental power carts, pull carts and clubs.
  • Ensure washrooms are always stocked with liquid soap and paper towels.
  • Disinfectant kills germs on surfaces. Remove surface dirt first in order for the disinfectant to work.
  • Most regular household cleaning products are effective at eliminating the virus.
  • Use only disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) to confirm it is approved for use in Canada. Check the expiry dates of products and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Cleaning/disinfection wipes should only be used for surfaces, and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Equipment and tools that must be shared should be cleaned and disinfected regularly, including between users (e.g. cashier’s stations, machinery, golf cart, and pull cart).
  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleaning the setting.

Note: Disinfectant wipes may have a combined cleaning and disinfectant in one solution, but depending on how dirty the surface is it may need to be pre-cleaned as disinfectants may become ineffective when dirt is present. Check instructions on the product’s label.


Download this information as a PDF.

This guidance is intended to support sports and recreational fitness activities, including:

  • Facilities for sports, including community centres
  • Gyms
  • Fitness studios (e.g. yoga, dance)

Note: Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars remain closed.

Under Ontario’s Reopening Ontario Act – Stage 3 Orders, facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • Physical distancing: every person who engages in sports or a recreational fitness activity, other than a team sport, must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres/six feet from every other person at all times.
  • Numbers permitted in a class, organized program or activity: must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres/six feet from others, and cannot exceed:
    • 50 persons, if any of the activities are taking place indoors, or
    • 100 persons, if all of the activities are taking place outdoors.
  • Numbers in areas containing weights or exercise machines: 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 50 people.
  • Areas where gathering limits do not apply: physical distancing must be maintained but there are no gathering limits in tennis courts, pools, arenas, etc.
  • Numbers of spectators: must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres/six feet from every other person, and in any event cannot exceed,
    • 50 spectators, if the spectators will be indoors, or
    • 100 spectators, if the spectators will be outdoors.
  • Team sports may only be practised or played if they do not allow or have modified to avoid physical contact between players
  • Organized team sports in a league may only be practised or played if the league:
    • has no more than 50 players and does not permit its teams to play against teams outside of the league, or
    • divides its teams into groups of 50 or fewer players and does not permit teams in different groups to play against one another or against teams outside of the league.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of equipment: all equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between each use or at the end of the completion of a game or practice. Do not use equipment or have activities if the structures cannot be cleaned between each use.
  • Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities may open to provide space for a day camp for children. See COVID-19 Guidance for Day Camps.
  • For information about pools and other aquatic amenities, see Guidance for Recreational Water Facilities.

Responsibility of owners and operators

All owners and operators of gyms, fitness studios and sports facilities 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).

COVID-19 Transmission

Respiratory transmission: COVID-19 is an illness that is spread mainly from person-to-person through close contact from respiratory droplets of someone with COVID-19. The respiratory droplets can travel up to two metres/six feet when we cough, sneeze or talk.

Contaminated surfaces: It is possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. The virus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 72 hours.

More information about COVID-19 can be found in the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
  • Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wear a face mask or covering when you are in indoor public spaces, as per the City bylaw, and when you cannot maintain a two metre/six foot distance outdoors.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Practice physical distancing

  • Physical distancing means keeping a distance of two metres/six feet from others. Plan and modify the layout to ensure enough space is provided for staff and customers to maintain physical distancing.
  • Calculate the maximum number of people permitted in the facility that allows for two metres/six feet physical distancing, or complies with provincial gathering limits, whichever is less. Limit the number of people accordingly.
    • Maximum occupancy for physical distancing can be calculated as one person per two metres squared (four square metres or 43 square feet) of publicly accessible floor space.
    • Calculate and post occupancy limits within each space, including washrooms, locker rooms, and fitness rooms.
  • Designate and manage entry and exit points to control the number of people entering the facility and each space within. If the maximum number of people is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.
    • Consider a registration process with assigned time slots and set duration periods for using the facility.
    • Stagger arrivals and departures, where possible, to reduce congestion at points of entrance and exit and in common areas.
  • Modify and arrange site/floor plan to maintain physical distancing and reduce contact.
    • Assign spaces for organized fitness classes (e.g. by marking circles or squares on the floor to designate where each person should exercise).
    • Move equipment and machines to allow for at least two metres/six feet between users, or install physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass).
    • Design traffic flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
    • Increase floor marking and signage to allow people to find machines, rooms and amenities more easily.
    • Ensure enough space for people in high traffic areas and places where people may gather.
    • Identify areas where crowding and bottlenecks are common, such as lobbies, locker rooms, washrooms, and use staff or barriers to redirect people who may gather in these areas.
  • Monitor and manage lines outside and within the facility.
    • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, service desks or otherwise.
    • Place visual / textural markers spaced two metres/six feet apart (e.g. tape on the floor, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide customers.
    • Assign staff to monitor lines and to make public announcements reminding customers to keep two metres/six feet apart.

Support and encourage hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Download and post Wash your HandsCover your CoughProtect Yourselfsigns in high traffic areas.
  • Instruct customers to wash their hands before and after workouts and to use hand sanitizer when transitioning between pieces of equipment.
  • Provide hand sanitizers dispensers (70-90% alcohol concentration) by entrances and throughout the facility.
  • Ensure an adequate supply of liquid soap, paper towel, hand sanitizer, tissues, and waste receptacles throughout the facility and in washrooms and locker rooms.

Support and encourage proper use of masks

  • Facility owners and operators must develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw, and train staff on the policy and protocols. More information is available here.
  • All staff and customers must wear a mask or face covering indoors, except while engaging in physical activity.
  • Masks or face coverings are strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Educate staff on the proper use and disposal of masks.

Front desk, sales and registration

  • Install physical barriers at front/service desks (e.g. plexiglass).
  • Encourage online or telephone sales and registration processes.
  • 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.
  • Remove unnecessary items such as magazines, pens etc.
  • Review the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Settings and Food Premises, as applicable.

Modify programming

  • Consider alternative methods of service (e.g. virtual classes).
  • Where possible, hold classes and activities outdoors instead of indoors.
  • Limit or cancel activities where distances or other appropriate controls cannot be implemented.
  • Offer more classes/activities at a reduced capacity rather than hosting a single large class/activity.
  • 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. merchandise kiosks, concession stands, communal lounges).
  • Encourage instructors reduce the volume of music and use a microphone instead of shouting.

Enhance environmental cleaning and disinfection

  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly, on surfaces and objects.
  • Assign staff to complete environmental cleaning and disinfection duties.
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between user sets or at the end of a game.
    • Establish and post clear policies requiring customers to wipe down equipment before and after every use.
    • Provide adequate supplies and garbage bins for disposing used materials.
    • Consider keeping all non-stationary equipment (e.g. balls, foam rollers, blocks) in one area to facilitate cleaning and disinfecting in between uses. Station an employee nearby to wipe down equipment after each use before being put back into circulation.
    • Encourage customers to bring their own gear for personal use, when practical and possible (e.g. yoga mat and blocks, helmet, racquets, water bottle, towels).
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects in staff and public areas (e.g. doorknobs, stereos, water re-fill stations, railings) at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
  • Ensure locker rooms, change rooms, washrooms, hand sinks, and showers are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
    • Consider removing complimentary shared personal items such as hairspray, hairdryers, and deodorant sprays. If they are offered, ensure they are cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Provide waste receptacles lined with a plastic bag, and empty as often as necessary.
  • Consider temporarily suspending towel service.
  • Increase ventilation with fresh air by increasing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system or by opening windows.
    • Avoid recirculating air.
    • Minimize the use of fans. If necessary, use at the lowest setting and direct airflow away from surfaces and individuals.

Maintain Healthy Operations

Implement health and safety protocols for staff

  • Review the COVID-19 Guidance for Employers, Workplaces and Businesses to plan and implement protocols to keep staff safe.
  • Actively screen staff before each work shift and prior to participating the event.
  • Implement attendance policies for staff, including maintaining a list of the names, contact information and attendance records of all staff.
  • Train staff on all new policies and protocols related to COVID-19 practices including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and the City of Toronto mask by-law and policy.

Encourage customer health screening

  • Inform all customers that they cannot attend the facility if they are ill.
  • Use posters for passive screening for everyone before entering the facility. Direct anyone who answers YES to any of the screening questions to go home and self-isolate, and contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or go to an assessment centre to get tested.

Develop plans for dealing with staff and customers who become ill while at the facility

  • Develop plans/procedures/protocols that specifically address how to safely care for staff and/or customers who develop COVID-19 related symptoms or who need care (e.g. injury, illness, emotional upset) while at the facility.
    • Identify a space where they can be isolated from others until they can go home safely in a private vehicle and/or undergo medical assessment.
  • Keep a list of names and contact information for those who visit the facility. Toronto Public Health will use this list to notify and provide instructions for close contacts to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Any personal information that is collected for COVID-19 contract tracing can only be used for this purpose, unless an individual provides their consent. Records should only be kept for 30 days, and then shredded.
  • Contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 for guidance if you have been notified that a staff or customer has tested positive and/or you have concerns that others may have been exposed while at the facility.

Increase public health awareness

Other resources


Download this information as a PDF.

This interim guidance is to support owners and operators of indoor playgrounds to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Indoor playground facilities may have different structures, policies and operation of play, and it is the responsibility of owners/operators to ensure infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained.

Owners and operators should prepare their indoor playground facilities to comply with all emergency orders, the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, and these public health guidelines so that they are ready to reopen safely. Please check www.toronto.ca/COVID19 regularly for any updates to further control the spread of infection or to loosen restrictions.

Bylaw on use of masks and face coverings

Effective July 7, 2020, the use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw. Operators are required to develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks. Refer to the guidance on mask and face covering bylaw for a sample policy that your organization can adapt. More information is available here.

Staff Health Screening and Attendance

  • Inform staff about the changes being made to protect them against COVID-19 by posting signage, updating information on the website or by mail.
  • Ensure all staff complete a health screening questionnaire before each shift. The questions can be completed online, on paper or by asking your staff directly.
  • Adjust work hours and shifts to reduce the number of staff in your facility at any one time.
  • Have a flexible sick policy so staff do not come to work ill.
  • Remind staff about the importance of reporting illness to their supervisor/manager.
  • If staff become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 while at work, they should go home right away and self-isolate. Instruct staff to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, a health care provider, or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
  • Staff should report to their Occupational Health and Safety Department prior to returning to work.
  • In general, staff can return to work 14 days after their symptoms began if they had COVID-19.
  • There are no clearance tests required for staff to return to work.
  • For other illnesses, or if a staff has tested negative for COVID-19, they should not attend work until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Staff Training

  • Staff should receive clear instructions on the new mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption by customers is not required.
  • Masks should not be placed on children under two years of age.
  • 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).
  • More information on use of non-medical masks or face coverings can be found here.
  • Additional resources for staff training is available from Public Health Ontario.
  • Discourage staff from gathering together in the lunchroom or common areas.
  • Educate staff on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    • Wash hands frequently with liquid soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) if water and soap is not available.
    • Cover cough or sneeze with the elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash hands.

Limit Admission

  • Limit entrances to control the number of customers entering the facility at any given time.
  • Set a capacity limit for the number of customers (children and their parents/guardian) allowed in the premises at any given time.
  • The capacity limit should be based on available floor space, to ensure ease of movement while maintaining two metres (six feet) of distance from others. Consider one person for every two metres square (four squared metres) of floor space.
  • Post signage at the entrance stating of the maximum number of customers permitted at any one time.
  • Set limits on the number of customers permitted in each play area at any given time. Post signs by the entrance to each play area, and at attractions, party rooms, and washrooms.
  • Consider measures to prevent crowding, such as:
    • Creating a reservation system with pre-assigned times of use.
    • Implementing time limits (e.g. during peak use periods).

COVID-19 Screening

  • All customers and visitors should complete a self-screening questionnaire (for adults or children) before entering the facility.
  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with a person with COVID-19 should not be allowed in.
  • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) available for use by the entrance.

Communication

  • Inform customers about the changes you have made to protect them against COVID-19, using posters, website updates, email, or public announcement (PA) systems.
  • Designate a contact person (e.g. supervisor) to respond to COVID-19 concerns from staff and customers.
  • Encourage customers to pre-book their hours of play and number of players. This may avoid disappointment if the facility is full.

Physical Distancing

  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing while waiting outside.
  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, by cashiers or service counters.
  • Place markers or circles so customers know where to stand when waiting or interacting with staff.
  • Where possible, arrange play equipment to create walkways to allow for physical distancing.
  • Install plexiglass/barriers if possible, where there will be close contact between staff and customers, between play areas/attractions, and at the checkout.
  • Move seating, at least two metres/six feet apart or tape off alternate fixed seating.
  • Mark the floor with tape, where seats should be placed so it can be repositioned, if moved.
  • Remind children to avoid direct contact and keep their distance as best as possible from people outside of their household or social circle when using the indoor playground.
  • Discourage staff and customers from congregating in all areas of the playground.

Play Areas and Attractions

  • Ensure toy materials and equipment to be used can be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • Rope off play areas or attractions, where high-touch equipment, attractions or toys cannot be frequently cleaned and disinfected (e.g. ball/foam pits).
  • Use visual markers or tape on the floor to encourage physical distancing while waiting at each play area or attraction.
  • Monitor each play area/attraction to ensure the posted capacity limits are being followed.
  • Stagger the flow of people entering and exiting each play area or attraction to prevent crowding.
  • Use floor markings, barriers and signs to create one-directional walkways where appropriate (e.g. entrances, play structures, washrooms).
  • Consider marking spaces for people in the same household or social circle.

Signage

Restaurants or Food Service Premises

COVID-19 Outbreaks and Contact Tracing

  • It is recommended that operators collect the names and contact information of staff and customers (children and their guardian) who attend the facility (i.e. name, date, check in and check out time, phone number and/or email address). This is to support public health contact tracing efforts in the event that an attendee tests positive or an outbreak is identified.
  • Providing information is voluntary for customers. Operators must obtain a person’s consent and inform them of the purpose and legal authority for collection. Operators must make reasonable security arrangements to protect personal information (e.g. locked drawer in private office).
  • Any personal information that is collected for COVID-19 contract tracing can only be used for this purpose, unless an individual provides their consent. Records should only be kept for 30 days, and then shredded.
  • Toronto Public Health will use this list to notify and provide instructions for close contacts to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Additional public health advice in the event of an outbreak may include additional cleaning and disinfecting measures to reduce the risk of spread in the setting.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Develop enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures.
  • Maintain a log to track cleaning and disinfecting activities.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting washrooms, as required.
  • High traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces, objects, fixed-equipment, and attractions should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day, and when visibly dirty (g. doorknobs, toilet handles, countertops, hand rails, slides, climbing structures, obstacles, arcade buttons or joysticks).
  • Shared toys, equipment and other materials must be cleaned and disinfected between users (e.g. balls, riding toys, play houses).
  • Review Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings fact sheet.
  • Refer to Health Canada’s list of hard-surface disinfectants for information on disinfectants effective against COVID-19.

Drinking Water Fountains

  • Where possible, switch drinking water fountains to touchless or foot pedal operation.
  • Encourage staff and customers to bring their own water bottle to stay hydrated.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) for the facility are maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions, or more frequently.
  • Use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system, if provided.
  • Indoor ceiling fans, if turned on should have an upward airflow rotation.
  • Keep areas near HVAC inlets and outlets clear.

Workplace Health and Safety

  • Employers must have written measures and procedures for staff safety, including for infection prevention and control.
  • Ontario has general information on COVID-19 and workplace health and safety, where employers can learn about their responsibilities and how to protect workers at work.
  • Workers can also get information about health and safety protections at the workplace.

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 (for use when playgrounds are permitted to reopen when Toronto enters Stage 3).


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.

Read Toronto Public Health’s Guidance for Recreational Water Facilities (also available below) and tips for the public who are getting active.


COVID-19 Guidance for Recreational Water Facilities

Recreational water facilities including, public pools, spas, wading pools and splash pads, are required to operate according to Ontario Regulation 565 – Public Pools. The following recommendations are intended to help owners and operators of these recreational water facilities reduce the spread of COVID-19. As every facility will be different, it is ultimately the responsibility of owners and operators to review their own policies, procedures and site-specific circumstances, and assess their ability to deliver aquatic programs and activities while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained.

Recreational water facilities are currently subject to the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. On June 24, 2020, certain categories of businesses and facilities will be permitted to reopen when Toronto enters Stage 2 of Ontario’s Reopening Framework. However, it is important to note that all indoor and outdoor spas and water slides will not be permitted to open at this time. Owners and operators should prepare their facilities to comply with these public health guidelines and/or other provincial requirements such that they are ready to reopen safely.

More information about COVID-19 can be found in the Toronto Public Health (TPH) COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Before Re-Opening

Notification of facility opening or re-opening
  • Owners and operators of public recreational water facilities are required to notify TPH before opening/reopening a facility after any closure that lasts for more than four weeks, or before a facility is put into use after construction or alteration.
  • Notification must be received at least 14 days prior to the intended date of opening and can be completed online using TPHs Recreational Water Facility Opening Notification Form.
Train staff
  • All lifeguards and other recreational water facility staff must be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • Train staff on the proper use of personal protective equipment, when required. Refer to Public Health Ontario
  • 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 Red Cross.
Prepare the recreational water facility
  • Owners and operators should assess the layout and available space within the facility. Facilities should allow for all staff, bathers and spectators to maintain a two metre (six feet) distance from each other.
  • Determine the facilities reduced capacity limit at any given time (i.e. bather load) that permits adequate physical distancing.
  • Post notices indicating the facility capacity limit in visible locations throughout the facility (e.g. entrances, at pool/spa, deck, changerooms and showers).
  • Reduce the capacity of the resting areas and in spectator areas:
    • Provide furniture (e.g. chairs, benches, picnic tables) to accommodate the reduced facility capacity.
    • Arrange furniture a minimum of two metres (six feet) apart, and place signs/notices in fixed seating spaces such as spectator areas.
    • Mark furniture locations so that they may be repositioned easily (e.g. tape/paint on the floor).
  • Provide physical cues or guides for people by placing markers such as tape, stickers, safety cones or painted lines every two metres (six feet), where appropriate (e.g. entrances, service counters and showers).
  • Tape off and temporarily decommission high-contact aquatic features such as slides, diving boards and climbing structures.
  • Consider installing cues such as stickers or signs at frequently touched surfaces (e.g. splash pad water feature activation buttons) to encourage persons to avoid directly touching with their hands (e.g. use your elbow or the back of your hand).
  • Increase ventilation and air flow in areas, if possible.
  • Download, print and post signs in a visible location at the entrance and other appropriate areas in the facility to raise awareness about health and safety measures that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as:
Screening considerations for recreational water facilities
  • For facilities with a Class A or Class B pool that is supervised:
    • It is strongly recommended that owners and operators of facilities with a Class A or Class B pool that is supervised conduct active in-person health screening for all staff, bathers and spectators entering the facility.
    • Designate an area outside, near the main entrance of the recreational water facility as a screening station for in-person screening.
      • The area should be clearly identifiable as the screening station.
      • Post signs in a visible location clearly explaining the screening process and the rules and conditions for entry (see the Posters for Entrances as an example).
      • Post signage containing information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
    • The area must allow for a minimum of two metres (six feet) distance between staff conducting in-person screening and the individual being screened.
    • Alternatively, a protective barrier (e.g. plexiglass) may be equipped around the screening station.
    • If physical distancing or a barrier is not possible, staff conducting the screening may consider wearing personal protective equipment (e.g. mask, eye protection).
    • Use visual markers/cues spaced two metres (six feet) apart (e.g. tape on the floor, pylons, signs) to assist staff, bathers and spectators maintain a two metre distance from each other if waiting to be screened.
  • For facilities with an unsupervised Class B pool, spa, wading pool or splash pad:
    • For unsupervised facilities, where in-person screening cannot be conducted by staff on-site, encourage staff, bathers and spectators to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and exposures prior to entry.
Modify the facility to promote physical distancing
  • Temporarily decommission showers immediately adjacent to each other.
  • Limit lockers available by blocking certain lockers from use.
  • Use other engineering controls such as plexiglass, tables or barriers where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

During Active Operation

Stay home when you’re sick
  • Remind staff, bathers and spectators to stay at home and not attend the recreational water facility if they are sick.
  • Visit our webpage to learn about the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
Implement an attendance reporting policy for staff
  • Daily attendance records should be maintained and updated when a staff member is absent.
  • Owners and operators should follow-up with staff to determine the reason for any unplanned absences.
  • Determine if a staff person’s absence is due to illness, and note any symptoms (e.g. fever, sore throat, feeling unwell).
  • Refer to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms.
  • Advise staff to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, or their primary care provider to determine if further care is required. COVID-19 testing is readily available at assessment centres.
  • Monitor attendance records for patterns or trends (e.g. staff on the same shifts or over the course of a few days).
Staff that become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 while at work
  • Staff who become ill while at work should be sent home immediately, and directed to our website for more information about COVID-19.
  • Staff exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded from work for 14 days.
    • These individuals should also self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for the next 14 days. They should be advised to avoid contact with vulnerable persons or settings where vulnerable persons reside (e.g. long-term care homes).
  • Staff with symptoms of COVID-19 should call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their health care provider or an assessment centre to determine if they need testing.
  • Symptomatic staff who test negative for COVID-19 must be excluded from work until 24 hours after symptoms have stopped.
  • Staff who are being managed by TPH (i.e. confirmed cases of COVID-19, household contacts of cases) should follow TPH instructions to determine when they can return to work.
  • Staff should also report to their Occupational Health and Safety Department prior to return to work.
  • Tests for clearance to return to work are not necessary.
Screen staff, bathers and spectators for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • For facilities with a Class A or Class B pool that is supervised:
    • Actively screen staff, bathers and spectators upon arrival or prior to the start of a shift. See TPHs sample screening form that can used.
    • Individuals can be asked the screening questions or can complete a screening form prior to entry.
    • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) available for use at the screening station for individuals who have answered NO to all questions prior to entry into the facility.
    • Individuals who answer YES to any of the questions should not be permitted to enter the facility.
    • Encourage individuals with symptoms to visit TPHs website to learn about assessment centres, and to help determine if further health care is required.
  • For facilities with an unsupervised Class B pool, spa, wading pool or splash pad:
    • For unsupervised facilities, where in-person screening cannot be conducted by staff on-site, encourage staff, bathers and spectators to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and exposures prior to entry.
Maintain logs of staff, bather and spectator contact information
  • It is recommended that facilities with a Class A or Class B pool keep logs of the name and contact information for staff, bathers and spectators, with a date, check in and check out time.
  • If there is a case of COVID-19 who was contagious while at the facility, public health will use that list to notify the staff and customers.
Manage the flow of people in the facility to promote physical distancing
  • Monitor to ensure adherence to the reduced capacity limit.
  • Where appropriate, design and implement a walking flow for the facility, such as creating one-way routes with prominent signage and/or floor markings to prevent crowding (e.g. showers, changerooms, pool deck).
  • Establish and monitor capacities for changerooms at any given time to prevent crowding.
  • Design and implement a swimming flow for the pool to encourage physical distancing between staff, bathers and spectators such as creating one-way swimming lanes with prominent signage and/or deck markings for lane swims.
  • Stagger the flow of people entering and exiting the facility to prevent crowding.
  • Stagger times for lap swims, practices and other activities or programs.
  • Aquatic activities such as fitness classes and swim lessons must be in line with physical distancing measures. For example, only other household members can assist bathers with physical contact.
  • Consider implementing appointments or time limits for the use of the facility so that facility capacity is more easily controlled.
Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration), provided hands are not visibly soiled.
    • Encourage staff, bathers and spectators to practice hand hygiene prior, during and after use of the recreational water facility.
    • Remind staff, bathers and spectators to avoid touching their face, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • Ensure that staff, bathers and spectators have the ability to practice hand hygiene often, and when needed:
    • Provide hand sanitizer in dispensers near entrances, service counters and other high-touch locations for staff, bather and spectator use.
    • Monitor supplies to ensure adequate amounts of liquid soap, paper towel (air dryer if paper towels are not available), hand sanitizer, tissues and waste receptacles with lined plastic bags.
Practice physical distancing
  • Physical distancing means keeping a distance of two meters (six feet) from others who are not part of your household or social circle.
  • Remind staff, bathers and spectators not to share items, including food, water bottles, equipment, toys, and supplies and encourage everyone to keep their distance as best as possible.
  • Staff, bathers and spectators must maintain physical distancing in all areas of the facility (e.g. in the water, on the deck, in showers).
  • Discourage crowding by advising facility users to return at another time if physical distancing is difficult or not possible.
Consider using cloth masks or face coverings
  • Cloth masks or face coverings are strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Masks can be worn on the deck or other areas of the facility.
  • Masks do not replace the need for physical distancing, hand washing, and staying home when sick.
  • Masks should not be worn in the water, placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Enhance environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • Implement enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures.
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects such as ladders, doorknobs, handrails, light switches, deck fixtures, etc., at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
  • Ensure locker rooms, change rooms, showers and washrooms are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
  • 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.
  • Review Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings fact sheet.
  • Refer to Health Canada’s list of hard-surface disinfectants for information on disinfectants effective against COVID-19.
  • Maintain a log to track cleaning and disinfecting activities.
Lifeguards and water safety
  • Physical distancing must not compromise safety supervision or the bathers safety (e.g. rescues, first aid).
  • To ensure the safety of all spectators, lifeguards who are actively providing safety supervision should not be expected to monitor adherence to measures outlined in this document (e.g. physical distancing, screening). These responsibilities should be assigned to another staff member.
  • For additional information, consult industry experts such as the Lifesaving Society and the Red Cross.
Provision of personal protective equipment
  • Lifeguards and other recreational water facility staff should wear personal protective equipment (e.g. face mask, gloves) appropriate for the work being performed (e.g. first aid).
Maintain water filtration and disinfection systems
  • 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 – Public Pools.
Maintain heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) for the facility, deck or relevant area(s) are adequately maintained.
  • Increase the introduction and circulation of outdoor air by opening windows and doors, the use of fans, or other methods, where possible. However, do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to staff, bathers or spectators.
  • If fans are used, they must be positioned to provide an upward movement of air.
Increase communication with staff, bathers and spectators
  • Develop and implement communication platforms to provide information about programs, health and safety measures (e.g. screening, physical distancing, staying home when sick) with spectators and staff through the facilities website, email or social media accounts.
  • Designate a point of contact (e.g. supervisor) who will be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns form staff, bathers and spectators.
Workplace health and safety
  • Employers must have written measures and procedures for staff safety, including for infection prevention and control.
  • Ontario has general information on COVID-19 and workplace health and safety, where employers can learn about their responsibilities and how to protect workers at work.
  • Workers can also get information about health and safety protections at the workplace.

Other Resources