City of Victoria outdoor recreation facilities will reopen to the public May 14. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Recreation facilities begin to reopen across Greater Victoria

Physical distancing, health and safety protocols still in place

Outdoor activities are back on the docket in some parts of Greater Victoria with the reopening of recreation facilities across the Capital Regional District (CRD).

Effective May 14, the CRD will reopen some outdoor facilities at its four recreation centres: Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich, Greenglade Community Centre in Sidney, Sooke and Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission (SEAPARC) and the Salt Spring Island Parks Recreation Commission.

In an information bulletin posted May 13, the CRD says signage will be posted at each facility with reminders of health and safety precautions and physical distancing.

“Users are expected to continue to adhere to public health guidelines of maintaining 2 metres of physical distance, no sharing of equipment, practicing good hand hygiene, and staying home if sick,” the CRD writes.

READ ALSO: B.C. begins broad COVID-19 survey, with option for antibody testing

Registration for summer camps and programs is open for Panorama Recreation. The DeMamiel Creek Golf Course opened at SEAPARC on May 1 with additional precautions.

The City of Victoria is easing some restrictions on recreation as well. In a media release issued May 13, the City said it would be re-opening tennis and pickleball courts, sports fields and skate and bike parks on May 14 as part of a “phased return to outdoor recreation facilities.”

The facilities may be open, but lessons or league play will be still be prohibited, and users will be expected to follow health guidelines, the City says. As with CRD facilities, signage will display guidelines for use.

“A cautious re-opening of some outdoor recreation facilities is a positive step forward for physical and mental well-being,” says a statement Mayor Lisa Helps. “It’s important to stay active and healthy outdoors and we’re doing that in a safe, coordinated way across the region.”

The decision to reopen facilities comes alongside the B.C. government’s Restart Plan for the province, which includes recreation in its first phase to roll out this month.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Forget big weddings this summer, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

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