Safe Activities During COVID-19

Last Reviewed/Updated: January 7, 2022

Visit for updated guidance on the provincial proof of vaccination requirement for select high-risk indoor settings.

The risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are ever-changing. This means that everyone will need to do continuous risk assessments to determine what activities are safe to do and which ones should be cancelled or postponed. Connecting with others virtually or going outside continue to be the safer options. Please refer to the most recent Ontario Regulations or the PPH Current Restrictions webpage for current rules, regulations, and guidance

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Being Active Outdoors during COVID-19

Physical activity and getting fresh air are important for our overall physical and mental wellness. There are ways to be active either at home or outside while keeping physical distance from others.

Neighbourhood sidewalks, streets, multiuse paths, and parks are all available to get outside and get moving. When doing these activities, some ways to stay safe include:

  • Step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered a close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.
  • Keep 2 metres physical distance from others.
  • When moving at a fast pace (such as when running or cycling), move aside, give room to others.
  • If you must be behind another runner or cyclist, maintain distance and try to stagger yourselves so as to not be directly behind them.
  • If the location that you are going to is crowded (e.g., a playground, park, or recreational space), return at another time.
  • Wear the appropriate safety gear (e.g. helmets, bright coloured clothing, etc.).
  • Drink lots of water, practice sun safety and prevent tick and mosquito bites while outdoors.
  • Download the COVID Alert App

Who can be active outside? Know your own risks.

Everyone should be aware of their own risk of exposure. If you are feeling ill, stay home.

Follow the instructions for your situation below:

  • Individuals who have returned from travel outside Canada
    • Can I get fresh air on my private property (e.g. backyard, balcony, porch)?  YES
  • Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild
    • Can I get fresh air on my private property (e.g. backyard, balcony, porch)?  YES
    • Can I go for a walk/run/bike-ride off my private property?  NO
      For further advice and recommendations, and to confirm the current list of symptoms for COVID-19 complete the provincial self-assessment tool.
  • Individuals who are a close contact of a confirmed/suspected case of COVID-19
    • Can I get fresh air on my private property (e.g. backyard, balcony, porch)?  YES
    • Can I go for a walk/run/bike-ride off my private property? MAYBE
      Follow the instructions on the Ontario What to do if you have been exposed website. If you have been asked to self-isolate, you must remain on your own property.
  • Older adults
    • Can I get fresh air on my private property (e.g. backyard, balcony, porch)?  YES
    • Can I go for a walk/run/bike-ride off my private property?
      • The risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases progressively with age. If you are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot, your risk is reduced. Every individual needs to consider their personal risk factors when making decisions about going out. Click here for more information.

Always remember to wash your hands when you return home.


Should users of outdoor recreational spaces wear masks?

Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering is an additional personal practice that may help to prevent COVID-19 transmission from an unknowingly-infected person (the wearer) to people they may come in contact with. Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering does not replace physical distance. Using both together provides the best protection.

  • When you head outdoors, we recommend wearing a mask if the area is busy or crowded and maintaining 2 metres physical distance from others outside of your household is difficult.

Guidance for using outdoor recreational amenities during COVID-19

Peterborough has many outdoor recreational amenities, such as basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, parks and playgrounds, skating rinks, and beaches. Some of these locations are not managed by an organization or an operator and would be considered “open access”. In those cases, members of the public are responsible for following the local and provincial regulations and public health recommendations. Use the checklist below to understand the current rules and regulations, and the steps you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Preparing for the activity

  • Download the COVID Alert App. The app can alert you to possible exposures before you have symptoms.
  • Book a reservation ahead of time, if required.
  • Do not put others at risk. If you’re sick with COVID-19 symptoms, stay home.
  • Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool to see what to do next, or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-000 for guidance.
  • Avoid activities where you may come into close contact with people you do not live with.
  • Bring your own equipment, and do not share with non-household members.

During the activity

  • If the area looks crowded or has reached its capacity limit, come back at another time.
  • Know and adhere to all relevant policies and procedures at the location, including capacity limits.
  • Provide your name and contact information, if required. This information will help with contact tracing and management in the event of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Respect current provincial and local gathering limits. The safest option is to enjoy activities with the people you live with.
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub with a minimum of 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face.
  • Wear a mask or face covering at all times when indoors (limited exemptions apply), and when physical distancing (2-metres) is challenging outdoors.
  • Maintain at least 2-metres of distance from people you do not live with.
  • Do not play sports or games that are likely to result in individuals coming within 2-metres of each other in the amenity.
  • Do not share personal items, such as water bottles, food, towels, or equipment.
  • Keep music to normal conversation level whenever possible.

After the activity

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub with a minimum of 60% alcohol.
  • Put on your mask or face covering if it was removed and if required.
  • Wash your hands thorough with soap and water as soon as you arrive home.
  • Clean and disinfect any equipment that was used.

Recreational activity ideas:

If you can’t get outside, there are many ways to be active indoors.

  • Be creative and use what you have at home to keep everyone moving such building forts with couch cushions and blankets, or play hide and seek with your family members.
  • Explore virtual visits to museums and attractions. Our local libraries also have great virtual programming.

Access online resources for both live and recorded activities to get you moving at home:

Family Food Activities

Everyone is encouraged to get creative in the kitchen! Letting your children explore food and recipes helps to build their cooking skills. It is also a great way to make family memories.

Cooking with Kids
Kids can get started in the kitchen at any age! This resource provides some suggestions for age appropriate activities that kids can help with in the kitchen.

Try a new recipe.
This resource is a visual recipe collection. It is perfect for the visual learner or those just starting to read.

Screen Free Meals
Keeping the screens off and away during meal time is so important for your children. Children who regularly sit down for a meal tend to eat healthier foods, feel more secure in their family, and have the opportunity to share their day.