Ontario government issuing new order for outdoor amenities

Ford

The Ontario Government issued its latest emergency order late Monday night, closing down outdoor areas in its latest attempt to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, including playgrounds, off-leash areas and sports fields. 

"I made a commitment to be open and upfront about what we need to do as a province to beat this virus," said Premier Ford. "Based on the best medical advice available, we are taking further steps."

The new order would close all communal or shared outdoor recreational amenities, whether they be public or private, including, but not limited to:

- playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts
- off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard and BMX parks
- picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters
- outdoor exercise equipment, condo parks and gardens, and other outdoor recreational amenities. 

Green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that aren't already closed will remain open, but the province says people must maintain current physical distancing guidelines of being two metres apart from others. 

Ontario's provincial parks and conservation reserves have already been closed. 

The government says it's acting on the best advice of Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and other leading public health officials. 

Earlier in the day, the government announced it would be extending its state of emergency until March 17th. 

The province reported its largest increase of new cases Monday with 351 and there have been 33 deaths.