The District of Saanich is reminding park users to comply with the current public health orders after large picnics and sports games were reported. (Black Press Media File)

The District of Saanich is reminding park users to comply with the current public health orders after large picnics and sports games were reported. (Black Press Media File)

Large picnics, adult sports in Saanich parks prompt reminder about COVID-19 restrictions

Groups of up to 10 can meet outside, some adult sports permitted with social distancing

Planning a picnic or an afternoon in the sun at a Saanich park? Remember to adhere to current public health orders limiting group sizes and hold off on playing sports.

The District of Saanich is reminding park users to make sure their activities are permitted under the most recent COVID-19 restrictions. The warning was prompted by reports of picnics with more than 10 attendees and adults using the sports fields – both of which are not sanctioned by the provincial health officer, said Kelsie McLeod, communications manager for Saanich.

READ ALSO: Saanich allows doubles pickleball for players from same household

Reiterating the district’s notice for the use of parks amid the pandemic, area residents are welcome to enjoy Saanich’s more than 170 parks while practicing social distancing, spend time outdoors in a group of up to 10 people they’ve chosen to hang out with consistently, and adhere to guidelines for use of recreation facilities.

Adults can take part in approved sports with a maximum of 10 players, must maintain a three-metre distance and have a permit to use public sports fields. Tennis courts are open for singles and doubles play, but players need to maintain the same three-metre distance from anyone they don’t live with. However, on pickleball courts, doubles play isn’t permitted unless partners are from the same household.

Youth are welcome to take part in sports with approved safety plans and can practice within their cohort, but spectators cannot be present.

READ ALSO: Police remind Saanich park users to follow bylaws, public health orders over long weekend

Playgrounds are open but users are advised to return at a later time if the structure is busy and the year-round washrooms can be used. Permits for private events in parks are limited at this time.

Activities not in compliance with public health orders can be reported by calling the Saanich Police Department non-emergency line at 250-475-4321. For more information on current public health orders, visit saanich.ca/covid-19.


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