Toronto loosens COVID-19 ice rink rules as winter activities move ‘to normal’ – .

Toronto loosens COVID-19 ice rink rules as winter activities move ‘to normal’ – .

Toronto is putting aside pandemic measures from last winter that required skaters to make an appointment at the city’s outdoor rinks with locker rooms locked.

The first rinks should open on November 27 without an appointment required and with no limit on the number of skaters. The locker rooms will open, but at 50% capacity with a demand for people to arrive as ready to skate as possible.

Mayor John Tory told reporters in Greenwood Park that the easing of restrictions on ice rinks, part of the city’s “returning to normal” winter recreation program, was decided with input from the government. chief of public health, Dr Eileen de Villa.

“This winter is going to be very different from last winter and I hope that means a lot more fun,” Tory said Thursday as, behind him, a Zamboni glided over the ice that was forming with the help of the mechanical refrigeration.

The news comes as COVID-19 infections rise again in Toronto, even with at least two doses of the vaccine in 85% of residents, and with Health Canada set, according to sources, to approve vaccines for Friday. children between the ages of five and 11. .

Tory, who recently said he didn’t expect children’s vaccines to be approved until late November or early December, said he had no idea “the mysteries of federal health approvals. But wanted Pfizer children’s formula to arrive as soon as possible.

The mayor estimated that it could pass “about a week” between the announcement of Health Canada and the immunization of young children in Toronto, as the vaccine will be shipped to Ontario and then distributed to local health units.

“I think this should all be done in a fairly short timeframe because our plan is ready to go,” said Tory, referring to the city’s “Team Toronto Kids” plan to get as many people as possible quickly immunized. possible of the approximately 200,000 eligible children.

This includes immunization clinics in schools and community sites in Toronto, with special outreach in priority neighborhoods, as well as the city’s five fixed-site clinics and physicians’ offices and participating pharmacies.

The strategy also includes online briefings for about a third of parents of children aged five to 11 who, according to a city survey, do not yet plan to vaccinate them against COVID-19.

Tory said the more protected children are from the virus, the less likely it is to spread and the safer it will be for them and others to enjoy winter activities without the restrictions and closures Toronto experienced last winter.

Toronto’s winter recreation program includes:

Thirty-eight outdoor rinks will open on November 27, and the remaining 13 will open on December 4, weather permitting. They will operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, including holidays.

The city helps neighborhoods build and maintain natural ice rinks with advice, access to water, snow shovels, lighting and, where appropriate, public signage. Applications can be made online for the first time and are accepted until December 31.

Ski and snowboard at Earl Bales and Centennial Parks starting January 1, depending on weather.

Luge sanctioned on 26 toboggan runs across Toronto.

Seven snow loops for walking and snowshoeing at the city’s four golf courses, with loops ranging from one kilometer to 2.5 kilometers.

Seven disc golf locations, including an expanded 18-hole course at Scarlett Woods Golf Course and a new nine-hole course at Dentonia Golf Course.

David Rider is the Star’s Town Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering town hall and municipal politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider


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