How the City of Waterloo plans to reinstate Recreation Programs over the Summer

Photo by Candice Cheng

The City of Waterloo has taken the decision to gradually reinstate recreation programs over
the summer months. The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 forced recreational facilities to
temporarily shut down but the authorities are of the belief that now is the correct time to
reopen in a controlled manner to provide recreation services and programs to support
organizations affiliated to Waterloo and summer camps only. However, the authorities are
aware that Waterloo is still facing a certain level of risk from the novel virus and have made the decision to give daily access to facilities in the short term only to program participants.

Outdoor Sports Facilities:
The Moses Springer outdoor pool opened on the 1 st of July and the program offerings will
remain limited to program participants for now, but could increase in the future depending
on the spread of the virus.

The Summer day camps began from July 6 and will run out Albert McCormick Community
Centre, RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex and Healthy Living Centre and the Waterloo Memorial
Recreation Complex.

The outdoor natural turf and artificial turf fields opened on July 2 and 4 for training only.
The cricket fields opened on July 4 too. There are certain COVID-19 requirements which
could limit the standard play of the teams playing cricket, football or soccer on the turfs.

Among Passive parks, the city’s playgrounds will remain closed until further notice because
of the risk the virus carries for children. Tennis, pickleball and basketball courts are open for use with the required two metre physical distancing being maintained. Standard basketball can only be played if all the players involved are from the same family.

Indoor Sports Facilities:
The target date for these indoor sports facilities was met with the partial opening taking
place on July 6. These facilities will remain closed to the general public. The Bechtel Park
Manulife Soccer and Sports Centre indoor fields remain closed for the 2020 summer season.

The Regional Council has also passed by-laws that require the wearing of masks on transit
and in enclosed public spaces such as malls and restaurants. Children below the age of 5 and those who are unable to wear a face mask because of a medical condition or disability are exempted by the by-laws. In context to recreation programs, the by-laws also exempt those who are engaged in a sport or a strenuous physical activity.

The city of Waterloo has definitely taken the necessary steps in the right direction and have
begun the partial opening of recreation facilities while ensuring social distancing guidelines
are met and the health and welfare of the citizens is given maximum importance and
utmost priority.