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Drop-in activities

Shutdown status: City suspends indoor and outdoor recreation activities and some in-person services

The move to Shutdown status across the province will temporarily close City-managed recreation and cultural facilities for most indoor activities, limit the capacity at outdoor recreation amenities and suspend in-person City counter services. Shutdown comes into effect on Saturday, April 3 at 12:01 am.

The temporary closures will not impact the operations for virtual programs, Before-and-After School Programs and inclusive recreation programs.

Recreation and cultural facilities will close or remain closed to the public – including recreation complexes, community centres, arenas, swimming pools, theatres, museums and art galleries.

The following recreation and cultural programs will temporarily suspend operations:

  • All reserved recreation activities – including indoor skating, swimming (public and lane swims), cardio-weight rooms, sports activities – team play and practices, and indoor fitness classes
  • Any aquatic program scheduled to begin in April
  • Select cultural programs that operated by reservation only at Nepean Visual Arts Centre and
  • Shenkman Arts Centre

COVID-19 safety measures at City facilities

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures are in place at City facilities:

  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is required at all times for all users not living in the same household or in their social circle.
  • Plexiglass shields installed at customer service desks to protect workers and users
  • Directional signage to manage traffic flow
  • Room capacities have been reduced to accommodate social distancing requirements
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations are available and frequent handwashing is encouraged
  • Clients will need to conduct a health screening and assumption of risk upon arrival at the facility
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been implemented
  • Air dryer use, including personal dryers, are not permitted at indoor facilities and changerooms to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • All participants/volunteers/staff must wear masks during outdoor recreation programs except when actively engaged in athletic or physical activity.

Wearing a mask in City facilities

Masks are required when entering the facility, in common areas, lobbies, washrooms, changerooms and hallways as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-Law.

We require that all clients wear masks. Only the following programs, activities and individuals are exempt from the mask requirement:

  • Swimming: masks may be removed when entering the water but are required in other areas of the building.
  • Arenas: A mask is required at all times except while on the ice surface.
  • Sporting associations renting out City facilities: while actively engaged in high-intensity sports training and maintaining the 2-metre distancing requirement.
  • Children under the age of 5 years chronologically or developmentally, who refuses to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.
  • Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities rendering them unable to safely wear a mask.
  • Individuals who are unable to put on or remove their mask without assistance.

Those who are exempt need to let staff know at the entrance during the screening process and let us know how they meet one of the exceptions listed above. They may be asked to use a face shield if their circumstance allows.

All other City of Ottawa programs not listed above, require clients to wear masks throughout participation with the goal of preventing transmission and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

Additional safety measures at City pools

When you come to an aquatic facility, you’re going to notice several changes we have made to ensure we live up to our commitment to keep everyone safe, including:

  • Clients are asked to keep their personal items to a minimum
  • Swimmers are required to keep their masks on until they enter the pool
  • Traffic measures will be implemented around the pools and entry and exit will be staggered so crowding doesn’t occur
  • Swimmers at outdoor pools will enter and exit through a gate and not through the facility
  • Viewing areas will be either closed or their capacity reduced, to allow for proper physical distancing
  • Equipment that is not regularly in contact with chlorinated water will be disinfected every 4 hours at minimum

Do your part to slow the spread by:

  • Showering at home before going to the pool.
  • Wearing your bathing suit to the pool.

Additional safety measures at City arenas

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures have been implemented at City operated arenas:

  • Participant access to the arena is granted 15 minutes prior to the booking start time
  • No spectators are permitted except for a parent or guardian.
  • Limited capacity in change rooms
  • Designated skate tying areas outside dressing rooms
  • Showers are off limits at this time
  • Water fountains should be limited to bottle filling only
  • Players are encouraged to arrive dressed in as much equipment as possible

Ottawa Public Health states that the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases progressively with age, particularly beyond 50 to 60 years. In addition to increasing age, people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (cardiovascular, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung, chronic liver, cancer, immunocompromise) or severe obesity are at higher risk for severe illness. Every individual needs to take into account their personal risk factors when making decisions about going out.