VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Outdoor recreation will include more than a walk or a bike ride as much of Metro Vancouver eases pandemic restrictions around playgrounds and sports courts over the next few days.
“We are starting with skateparks today and then we are going onto sports courts like basketball, volleyball and the like, and then we are going to open all the playgrounds around town – there are over 160 – around June 1,” says Camil Dumont, Commissioner and Chair of the Vancouver Park Board.
Playgrounds across much of Metro Vancouver are starting to reopen Monday. More sports courts and skateparks are also opening up starting today and through the weekend. What about disinfecting and sanitizing, you ask? We have the answers this morning. Listen LIVE to @NEWS1130 https://t.co/I3GJ89rZqM
— Mike Lloyd (@llikemoyd) May 29, 2020
“Things are fluid and moving quickly but we are looking at reopening as much of the outdoor facilities as possible, as long as they are safe.”
Surrey, Delta, New Westminster, the Tri-Cities and North Vancouver are among other local cities removing the yellow caution tape from around playgrounds starting Monday.
Some local municipalities have already reopened tennis courts and skateparks.
In Vancouver, users are being reminded pandemic measures are still in effect.
“We’re basically asking people to follow the COVID-19 protocols they’ve grown accustomed to in all contexts and situations, including these outdoor spaces. Stay two metres away from anyone who is not in your household, make sure you are washing your hands like crazy and doing the Purell thing and all the wipes. Make sure you’re keeping as safe as you can and just using your common sense,” Dumont tells NEWS 1130, adding that equipment will not be regularly cleaned or disinfected.
“At this point we are not going around and spraying down swing sets. That’s not deemed as helpful or useful as one would think,” he explains.
“We are going to do a pretty good educational campaign and put up a bunch of signage to ensure people have a sense of what the guidelines are. The idea is that folks are going to hopefully do this cautiously and with respect for each other and the situation we are in.”
Dumont says the City of Vancouver is basing its decisions on provincial health and safety guidelines.”
“We are working step by step and trying to make sure as much of our facilities are accessible as possible and that we are doing so in a safe way.”