Ottawa to cap crowds at outdoor rinks, hills and trails

·1 min read
Ottawa to cap crowds at outdoor rinks, hills and trails

The City of Ottawa is instituting a 25-person limit at its outdoor rinks and other recreation venues.

On Tuesday, Ottawa's medical officer of health said large crowds at rinks, toboggan hills and ski trails are concerning because it's impossible to maintain a safe physical distance in such environments.

Dr. Vera Etches told reporters she would also be issuing an order for the owners and operators of private outdoor recreation venues to enforce the limit. It should take effect in the next day or two, she said.

This order will not affect the Rideau Canal Skateway once it opens because it's managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC), said Ottawa's general manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte. However, the NCC could introduce a similar rule, Di Monte said.

Etches said enforcement will focus on education at first, similar to when the city has introduced other pandemic restrictions.

WATCH | Ottawa trying to prevent outdoor crowding:

The city is currently in the midst of another surge in COVID-19 infection as the provincewide lockdown limits indoor activities. That's forcing more people outdoors for fun and exercise, especially during the recent holiday break.

Last week the city made masks mandatory around its outdoor rinks, and highly recommends skaters wear them on the ice as well.

Ashley Burke/CBC
Ashley Burke/CBC