With the Province’s announcement to introduce phase one of reopening – beginning Tuesday, May 19 – the Town of Pelham is easing restrictions on outdoor spaces and some amenities.
Some outdoor facilities/businesses were open as of May 15, such as golf courses and marinas, however, the first phase of recovery does not officially begin until Tuesday, May 19, lifting closures on some non-essential businesses such as retail operations and all construction projects.
“We’re starting to see a return of familiar activities and daily experiences,” said Mayor Marvin Junkin. “This is only step one. We are eager to get going again, but we also want to be smart about how this is done. We continue to follow the advice of Pubilc Health in our decision making and will make every effort to begin opening our parks, businesses, and other services when it is safe to do so. Our priority is, and always be, the safety of our residents.”
Residents are now able to use parks and outdoor sports fields for more than walk-through uses, though some limitations remain in effect. Residents must still abide by restrictions limiting groups to no more than five people and maintaining a two-metre (approximately six feet) physical separation. Passive activities will now be permitted in these areas including:
- Bringing a chair or blanket to relax in parks
- Kicking a ball, playing catch, flying a kite and other such activities with members of their households
- Individual activities such as yoga or exercising, provided they are not in a group or class
In addition to easing restrictions, some previously closed amenities are opening for use, including leash-free dog parks (Pelham’s dog park is operated and maintained by the Niagara Region), tennis courts, and boat launches.
Though these spaces are open for use, the public is reminded that the municipality is not providing extra cleaning or sanitizing, and use is at the discretion of the individual.
The Town asks the public to remain patient as staff prepare facilities for operation over the coming days.
Anyone taking advantage of these spaces should be sure to follow the best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19 as outlined by Niagara Region Public Health. These include frequent washing/sanitization of hands, physical separation, avoiding touching of shared surfaces and staying home if displaying symptoms or having been in contact with cases of the virus.
Organized sports are still restricted on municipal fields, given their necessity for the gathering of groups. At this time, park and outdoor amenities such as playground equipment, benches, and washrooms remain closed.
Bylaw enforcement will continue to enforce gatherings larger than five people, dogs off-leash, and anyone using closed park amenities. For COVID-19 related bylaw concerns, please call 905-658-2869.
To learn more about the Town of Pelham’s response to COVID-19, visit: www.pelham.ca/covid19