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Understanding the rules: What the new provincial COVID-19 restrictions mean for Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is helping residents understand the new provincial COVID-19 rules that are now in place by outlining the specifics.
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After receiving additional details on the province’s modified stage two COVID-19 restrictions, the City of Ottawa wants to clarify a few areas for residents who may be confused as to what those restrictions are and how that might affect them. 

As outlined on Friday, the city says the new restrictions have resulted in closing fitness and weight rooms and stopping all drop-in fitness classes, as well as many indoor team sporting activities. 

Instructional recreation programs, it says, have been cancelled, with the exception of modified swimming lessons. 

While team sports using city-owned facilities are limited to practice and drills. they must also restrict the number of participants to 25 outdoors and to 10 indoors — numbers that also include both players and coaches. 


Public skating and skating lessons in indoor arenas have also been suspended. 

Changes rooms

Change rooms remain closed. Only 10 participants are allowed at an arena for team practices or drills, including coaches/ As well, no spectators are allowed and the use of dressing rooms are restricted for storage and first-aid use only.

Stay close

The city and province are asking everyone to limit travel — especially to locations that are situated outside the code-red areas. To limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 to areas where case counts are low, people and sporting teams are urged not to travel to other cities or locations for team play or fitness activities. 

Just keep swimming

Public and lane swimming, as well as swimming lessons, can continue under the new regulations, but with limited participation numbers and under an advance reservation system. Change rooms will remain open for showering and changing. Reservations will continue online and can be made up to two days in advance. Masks need to be worn throughout the facility and on the pool deck, but can be removed when entering the water. 

Racquet sports

Racquet sports where participants are on opposite sides of a court, like tennis, pickle ball and badminton, are restricted to single play only. Racquetball and squash will not be allowed, as both involve two players play in close proximity in an enclosed room. 

Outdoor sports

Outdoor basketball courts, ball diamonds, pitches and football fields remain available for training and practice only and with a maximum attendance of 25 people. 

Meeting and event rentals 

The new gathering restrictions of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors also apply to rentals at city facilities for meetings and functions. Room rentals will be limited to a maximum of 10 people. Smaller rooms may be restricted to fewer people to practice two-metre distancing between each person. The only exception to the above is for indoor religious ceremonies or services where the number of participants will be based on 30 per cent of the room capacity and participants maintaining a two-metre distance from each other. For more indoor and outdoor events, table sittings must be limited to no more than six people.

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