School gymnasiums in Nova Scotia will soon be open in the off hours for sports teams and other organizations to use.

While it's a move welcomed by sports organizations that need a place to play, some parents and teachers see it as inconsistent with the province's handling of COVID in school.

Suzie Clark has a son in Grade 5. Because of COVID-19, she can't enter the school for any reason.

"Parents can't drop off gloves or drop off water bottles," Clark said.

Clark was surprised to learn this week Nova Scotia schools will soon open their gymnasiums for sports teams or community groups to use during off hours.

"They are going to open up our schools to other people coming into our gyms, and basically contaminate the space that we are trying to keep secluded," Clark says.

Paul Wozney, the president of the Nova Scotia Teacher's Union, says as things stand, students can't use gyms for phys-ed class or intramural activities.

"Kids can't play basketball," Wozney said. "Kids can't play floor hockey."

He says the decision by the province is inconsistent with rules being applied to schools.

"They can't do a lot of the sporting activities that community sports are going to do in this very same spaces," Wozney says.

Education minister Zach Churchill says non-essential participants will not be allowed to enter the schools and strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be followed.

"We are hiring more cleaners and providing more overtime for staff to do cleaning for when our students return to school the next day," Churchill said.

The move to open school gyms is being applauded at Basketball Nova Scotia.

"This is the ultimate game changer," said Katherine Brien, who says thousands of basketball players need a place to play. "The biggest issue with us trying to get back to running programs, was that we didn't have access to facilities."