COVID-19 – Sports, Recreation & Public Spaces

Last Reviewed/Updated: January 7, 2021

In response, the province will return to the modified version of Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. for at least 21 days (until January 26, 2022), subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.  This webpage will be updated shortly.  Learn more about the provincial changes here. 


On this page:

Sports and Recreation

Recreational Water Facilities

Outdoor Public Spaces

Community Gardens, Pick Your Own Produce, and Gleaning

Public Washrooms


Sports & Recreation

Guidance for Facilities

Sport, recreation and fitness facility owners and operators have a responsibility to ensure that these spaces are safe for staff and all users. Each facility is required to have a written COVID-19 safety plan and ensure that any group using their facility has a safety plan that meets the minimum requirements of the Ontario regulations and have a plan to deal with COVID-19 cases and exposures. Safety plans must be posted in a place where they can be seen easily and available to anyone who asks to see them. In addition to safety plans, there are a number of COVID-19 prevention protocols that facilities are required to have in place. Review these resources to determine facility requirements:

Guidance for Teams and Clubs

Sports, recreation and fitness activities require COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators.  Peterborough Public Health has put together a package of resources to help teams and clubs think through their return to play requirements:

NOTE: Peterborough Public Health has issued a letter of instruction to all indoor facilities located in the City or County of Peterborough where organized sports are played or practiced. This instruction requires that:

  • Effective 12:01 a.m. on October 18, 2021, upon entry to the facility, to confirm proof of vaccination or proof of a medical exemption, and personal identification, for all volunteers, coaches and officials, 12 years of age and older, in addition to the individuals prescribed by the regulation. This confirmation should be completed in the same manner as if prescribed by O. Reg. 364/20, Schedule 1, Section 2.1, and the Ministry of Health’s Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act. 2.

Guidance for Participants

A safe return to sport, recreation and fitness requires cooperation from everyone – including participants. Sport, recreation and fitness facility owners, operators and activity organizers (including coaches and volunteers) are being asked to create plans to demonstrate how activities will be organized and modified to meet local and provincial guidelines and to ensure a safer experience for everyone.

As a participant, preparing for a safe return to sport, recreation and fitness should start with following all public health recommendations and requirements, as well as adhering to any facility or activity guidelines set out by owners, operators, and activity organizers.

All participants of organized sports 12 years of age or older will also need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to entering a sport and recreation facility. As of January 1, 2022, individuals turning 12 will be given a 12-week grace period from their 12th birthday. If proof of vaccination or valid exemption along with identification is not provided, entry to a facility is not permitted.

To see a list of COVID-19 vaccine clinics in our area, visit here.

Click here to learn more about ways to prevent COVID-19.

Recreational Water Facilities

Peterborough Public Health is responsible for the inspection of all public recreational water facilities (public pools, public spas, wading pools and splash pads) in the City and County of Peterborough, Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations. Click here to learn more.

Outdoor Public Spaces

Outdoor public spaces, such as parks and trails, are important public spaces for the mental health and physical wellbeing of all residents. To ensure that these spaces can remain open and safe, operators and users will need to use appropriate public health measures.

Guidance for Urban Settings

Busy urban settings, such as a downtown area, provide an important mixture of amenities and services for residents. While this important mix of uses are needed to foster conditions favourable for long-term health and wellbeing, this does pose challenges for each individual using this space to effectively apply personal public health measures that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. With this in mind, busy urban settings require mitigation measures to make sure there is safe access for all. All municipalities in the Peterborough region should consider which of their busy urban settings may need modifications. Use the following resources to determine the right combination of measures:

Guidance for Operators of Outdoor Public Spaces

Outdoor public spaces, such as parks, beaches, and trails are important amenities needed for the mental and physical wellbeing of our community. Depending on the location, these spaces can often become crowded with many users. To keep these spaces open and safe, operators will need to implement appropriate public health measures and ensure these measures are being followed by all users. Use the following resources:

Guidance for Users of Outdoor Public Spaces

To ensure the safety of all outdoor public spaces, users should:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Keep 2 metres physical distance from anyone you don’t live with
  • Wear a mask if keeping 2 metres physical distance is not always possible
  • Avoid crowded places, and try to visit when the park is less busy
  • Step aside or pass others quickly and courteously on walking paths and trails
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Bring and take home your own sports equipment and toys
  • Clean toys with soap and water thoroughly when you return home

Click here to learn more about outdoor activities that you can do safely during COVID-19.

Public Washrooms

Public washrooms are important facilities to keep open to ensure that all residents have access to hand washing facilities. Follow PPH’s Guidance for Public Washrooms to make sure these important spaces meet current COVID-19 protocols.