Sport and Recreation Settings

WDGPH Guidance Documents

WDGPH Section 22 Class Order

Effective 12:01 a.m. on July 17, 2020, Dr. Nicola Mercer issued an updated class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act for Stage 3 of the Ontario Framework for Reopening our Province. An establishment falling within the scope of this Order is required to make the best efforts in respect of the requirments if the Order. In complying with the best efforts requirements, owners and operators shall not require employees or members of the public to provide proof that they qualify for any of the exemptions set out in Section 1 of the Order

The following establishments fall within the scope of the order requiring face coverings to be worn:

  • Indoor arenas/sporting venues as a spectator
  • Fitness facilities/gyms
  • Indoor sports facilities/studios

Persons must wear their face covering inside those establishments listed above at all times, unless it is reasonably required to temporarily remove the face covering for services provided by they establishment. For example, a person may temporarily remove their face covering while exercising or participating in an activity that requires physical exertion or an activity where a face covering may become wet. 

A person shall be exempt from wearing a face covering on the premises if: 

  • The Person is a child under the age of two (2) years; or a child under the age of five (5) years either chronologically or developmentally and he or she refuses to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
  • Wearing a Face Covering would inhibit the Person’s ability to breathe in any way;
  • For any other medical reason, the Person cannot safely wear a Face Covering such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information;
  • The obligation to provide reasonable accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code requires exemption from this requirement.

Parts of the fitness facility/gym/indoor sport facility or studio (including pools) that are covered by the order to wear a face covering:

  • Reception area/lobby
  • Equipment room
  • Exercise classroom
  • Common areas not used for activities (e.g., concesssion stand)
  • Other indoor areas accessible to the public (e.g., publicly accessible washrooms)

Parts of the fitness facility/gym/indoor sport facility or studio (including pools) that are exempt from the order to wear a face covering: 

  • Pool/spa area
  • Shower/change room

Reopening Recreational Settings and Resuming Sport Activities

Effective Friday, July 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health region moved into Stage 3. 

Recreational settings and sport associations/organizations do not require approval from Public Health to reopen or resume activities. Public Health is unable to review individual association/organization or sector-specific reopening plans and/or protocols. Facility owners are responsible to ensure that any activities that they permit comply with the Emergency Order.

Please refer to A Framework for Reopening our Province: Stage 3 for requirements related to current operating restrictions on sport and fitness.

For more information regarding reopening your business or resuming your sport, please visit our website’s Workplaces and Businesses Page

Facilities for Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities

  • Examples of facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities include gyms, fitness studios, and community centres.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained, except if playing a team sport or as needed for personal training.
  • The total number of people permitted in areas containing weights or exercise machines is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, which
  • cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people.
  • The total number people permitted in classes or organized activities at any one time is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, and cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people or the outdoor limit of 100.
  • Assigned spaces are strongly recommended for organized fitness classes (e.g., by marking circles on the floor to designate where each person should exercise).
  • Gathering limits do not apply in all other areas (e.g., pools, tennis courts and rinks).
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between user sets or at the end of a game.
  • Any washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.

Playgrounds and Play Structures

  • Outdoor playgrounds and play structures are permitted to reopen in Stage 3.
  • Physical distancing of at least two metres must be in place at all indoor playgrounds and play structures, except between individuals from the same household or social circle.

Team Sports and Live Sporting Events

  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports is not permitted.
  • Team sports in which body contact between players is either an integral component of the sport or commonly occurs while engaged in the sport (e.g., wrestling, judo) are not yet permitted, unless the approach can be modified to prevent prolonged or deliberate physical contact.
  • Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.
  • Leagues must contain no more than 50 participants total. If participants in a league exceed 50, the league may divide into smaller groups of no more than 50. Players are not yet permitted to play against players outside of their league or group.
  • Spectators at all sporting events, including professional sports, will be subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures, with assigned seating where possible.

Resources for businesses