ontario golf

Golf courses and other outdoor recreational amenities can open in Ontario this weekend

Premier Doug Ford and his team have finally made the move that so many were calling for and decided to open up outdoor recreational amenities across the province despite the fact that the current emergency shutdown and stay-at-home order will remain in effect until at least June 2.

Health experts and residents alike have been vocal about the fact that the risk for outdoor transmission of COVID-19 remains extremely low, and that outdoor activities are necessary for the public to maintain their mental and physical health, especially after so long in lockdown and while we have such nice weather.

And Ford revealed at a press conference on Thursday afternoon that our efforts and sacrifices have been worth it, as COVID-19 stats are now trending downward, meaning that we can finally open up — starting with outdoor recreational amenities like golf courses and tennis courts this coming Saturday, May 22 at 12:01 a.m.

"We are now in a position to look at a slow and measured reopening of the province," he told constituents, adding that a new plan replacing the old colour-coded regional reopening framework will be implemented slowly and with extreme caution via a new three-step roadmap based on vaccination rates.

Following the resumption of select outdoor sports activities this weekend, the least at-risk settings — such as patios, outdoor gatherings and fitness classes, and non-essential retail — will get to open first with restrictions around the week of June 14, followed by two more stages of spaces that can be more conducive to virus spread.

There will be at least 21 days between each of the three stages.

Members of the province's own COVID-19 Science Advisory Table previously clarified that they never recommended Ford implement a ban on outdoor activities, a move that has been quite controversial and has led to the physical chaining off of things like basketball nets in some circumstances, and the complete flouting of the rules in others.

Residents were fairly outraged when the announcement to ban golf and other such activities was made in mid-April.

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