The Ontario government has announced that the regions of Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa and, starting Monday, October 19th, York to return to a modified Stage 2 situation in light of the province experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases. The Ministry of Heritage, Sports, Tourism and Culture Industries also shared the following two assets (1, 2) with PSOs during this past Wednesday’s Townhall call, with more information on the decision process to move the three “hotspot” regions to Stage 2. Please refer to Regulation 572/20 for those modifications, and Regulation 263/20 for the complete stage 2 regulations. All other regions are still subject to Regulation 364/20.
Under the amended Stage 2 Regulation, indoor class settings are restricted to 10 individuals within one room, with outdoor restricted to 25 individuals. The regulation also refers to halting team training and competitions, closing any areas that contain weights and machines, prohibiting spectators, and maintaining physical distance. Additionally, the OFA has received clarification that the personal instruction exemption does apply to sports (O.Reg. 263/20, s.6(1); O.Reg. 364/20, s.5(1)). Therefore, under current regulations (Stage 2 or Stage 3), combat private lessons would be allowed.
However, this CBC article, published early Friday morning on October 16th, 2020, indicates that, at least in Toronto, sports clubs may need to close under Stage 2 restrictions.
“Scott Sullivan, acting director for Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards division, said PSOs were allowed to stay open under the previous version of Stage 2, not the recently modified one.
Under the modified Stage 2 [regulations] that Toronto is now under, activities in which participants are likely to result in persons coming within two metres of each other are prohibited,” Sullivan said.”
“Gymnastics Ontario also released a statement Wednesday saying it’s understanding was that clubs in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region could continue competitive training if facilities didn’t exceed 10 people per room.
But in a statement to CBC Toronto, Toronto Public Health confirmed that — at least in Toronto — gymnastics should be completely shut down.”
The OFA cannot provide a legal opinion or a sanction. If a Club is open having fencing, be sure to follow all protocols to keep everyone safe. Each individual coming to your Club or his or her parent, if a minor, should sign a waiver (sample training waiver for in-person and remote training). This waiver should be sent out to all members before they come to your Club and signed. Obviously, conditions can change and we cannot know the future.
The OFA urges all clubs and members to follow the advice of their local health authorities, to train with the utmost caution, follow the risk mitigating steps within the Return To Play Protocol, and to refer to the resources on the OFA COVID-19 Return to Play page, including sample waivers, for more information.