14 August 2020 – Athletic and recreation facilities to reopen with capacity limits

Type of Intervention: Regulation, Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Private Sector and Businesses
Intervention Categories: Social and physical distancing measures; Reopening offices, businesses, institutions, and operations; Allowing gatherings, businesses, and services
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Premier Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.

Overview: The Ontario government is supporting the safe reopening of athletic and recreation facilities across the province by applying a capacity limit on a per room basis. As of August 15, 2020, athletics and recreation facilities can have up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport/fitness room, with the condition that physical distancing protocols of 2 metres between patrons must be followed. This change was enabled by amendments to Stage 3 regulations outlined in the province’s reopening strategy. This will serve to help more businesses reopen their doors, provide work for employees, and promote a healthy, active lifestyle for Ontarians.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/58002/ontario-supporting-the-safe-reopening-of-more-spaces-at-gyms-and-recreation-centres

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Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Evidence/Justification: It is explained that this decision was made in consultation with the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. The amendments were justified with the explanation that gyms and fitness centres are often owned and operated as small businesses. These rules will assist small business owners with returning to work in a greater capacity and serve more people, all while maintaining strict adherence to public health protocols. No evidence is provided to support the number of people allowed per room or indicators as to why amendments have been made at this time.