The province announced last Friday that Ontario is accelerating Step 3 reopening by one week, to begin this Friday, July 16th.
Guidelines for Step 3 are Regulation 520/21, which is an amendment of Regulation 364/20 (Stage 3 reopening). Regulations specific to facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities are outlined in Section 16 in both regulations.
Changes that impact sports include a significant increase in gathering sizes to 50% of maximum capacity (fire code) indoors, with outdoor activities limited to the number that allows all individuals to maintain a physical distance of 2 meters at all times.
Additionally, masks may be temporarily removed for training and physical activities, both indoor and outdoor, according to Regulation 364/20, Schedule 1, Section 2.4.i.i.
Where there is any requirement under this Order that a person wear a mask or face covering…the requirement does not apply to a person who…needs to temporarily remove their mask or face covering while in the indoor area, to engage in an athletic or fitness activity.
During the Ministry Technical Briefing on Friday, June 9th, it was clarified that this mask exemption applies to athletes and coaches actively participating in training in the club. Any individuals (spectators, athletes and coaches taking a break) not training must remain masked indoors. Additionally, all non-training individuals must also remain masked outdoors in a setting where physical distancing cannot be maintained (in a crowded setting, for example).
Version 8 of the OFA COVID-19 Return to Play Protocol will be published shortly, with updates addressing masking and designated training group guidelines in alignment with provincial regulations. As two of our members are either currently in Japan with the team at pre-Olympic training, or will be traveling shortly to Tokyo to participate in the Games, it may take a few more days to finalize the document. We appreciate your patience in the meantime, and will publish the Protocol as soon as we can.
As always, please refer to the Government of Ontario regulations, and contact your local health authorities for clarifications and questions.
On Olympic news, the full schedule and fencing streaming links can be found on CBC’s website. Let’s cheer Team Canada on – the largest contingent of athletes since the 60s at 371, with around 60% female representation! Go Canada!
Stay safe, stay well, and see you soon!