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Vancouver, other Lower Mainland cities start to reopen sport courts, outdoor amenities

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated May 8, 2020 at 3:08 pm PDT

Coquitlam is reopening select outdoor amenities where physical distancing can be maintained. (Courtesy City of Coquitlam, Twitter)
Summary

Vancouver will start with reopening 53 tennis and pickleball courts at seven locations Saturday

City of Delta is the latest Lower Mainland municipality to reopen sport courts and outdoor amenities

City of Coquitlam made a similar announcement Thursday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The cities of Vancouver and Delta are joining other Lower Mainland municipalities in reopening some sport courts and outdoor amenities.

The Vancouver Park Board announced Friday, in advance of the Mother’s Day weekend, that it will start with reopening 53 tennis and pickleball courts at seven locations.

Tennis courts at Kitsilano Beach and in Stanley, Queen Elizabeth, Strathcona, Trout Lake, Memorial South, and Champlain parks will open on Saturday. The remaining 135 city courts will reopen throughout the week, with all open by Friday, May 15.

Tennis courts were closed mid-March along with many other park board facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know many Vancouverites have been anxiously awaiting the time when they can return to our courts and we are extremely pleased to be able to safely reopen at our sites,” Camil Dumont, chair of the Vancouver Park Board, says in a release.

She added staff has been reviewing all facilities, services, and public spaces closed due to COVID-19.

“In some cases, we will need to modify facilities and alter user behaviours, while other operations may be able to resume with limited changes. We continue to seek advice from Vancouver Coastal Health, as well as provincial and federal governing bodies for information on revised best practices, with public safety as our top priority,” Dumont said.

Delta made a similar decision Friday to give people more room outdoors during the pandemic.

“Users of these amenities must follow safety guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19,” says a release from Delta.

The City of Coquitlam announced Thursday that it is reopening select outdoor amenities where physical distancing can be maintained.

Coquitlam, however, is keeping playgrounds and sport courts closed at this time.

“As of Saturday, May 9, the locks will come off the city’s dog parks, outdoor tennis courts, skate parks, outdoor table games, and park washrooms, more than six weeks after they were closed over concerns that users were not following the recommendations of B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer to physically distance,” says a Coquitlam release.

The city decided to reopen the amenities this week following encouraging reports from the province and indications that the public now better understands the public health measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Playgrounds and sport courts remain closed because of the difficulty of maintaining a safe distance in close quarters,” says the city.

Amenities and washrooms in Coquitlam will be open from dawn to dusk. Washrooms will be cleaned twice a day, with an additional spot cleaning of touchpoints, such as door and faucet handles.

The City of New Westminster is also gradually reopening some outdoor amenities, starting Saturday. That includes outdoor tennis and pickleball courts, lacrosse boxes, skate and all-wheel parks, artificial turf fields, and Mercer track, says a release.

Playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, outdoor fitness circuits, and spray parks will remain closed until further notice.

All off-leash dog parks and park washrooms are currently open.

“Now more so than ever, getting outside and being physically active is essential for the physical and mental well-being of our community,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté.

Port Moody reopened sports fields earlier in the week.

In April, Port Moody shut down the Rocky Point Boat Launch and key civic facilities and parking lots to slow the spread of COVID-19. The boat launch is now open by reservation only to local residents and annual pass holders.