Township closing both Emsdale, Novar outdoor rinks until further notice

·1 min read

The Township of Perry held a special meeting on Jan. 13 to address the use of the outdoor rinks and parks during the provincial stay-at-home order.

While the outdoor rinks could remain open under increased restrictions, the township decided to close both rinks as well as the parks.

“We understand with the order we could have (the rinks) open but the spirit of the (resolution) was stay at home,” said Beth Morton, clerk-administrator for the township.

Ontario announced on Jan. 12 the province would head into another state of emergency as of 12:01 a.m. Jan. 13.

The province is further restricting the limit of outdoor gatherings from 10 people to a maximum of five with limited exceptions.

The wearing of masks or face coverings is now recommended for the outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.

Prior to the Jan. 12 announcement, people could use outdoor rinks during the provincewide lockdown with guidelines in place for a maximum of 10 people, wearing a face mask or covering, no hockey and maintaining two-metres distancing.

However, Morton said people weren’t adhering to the previous guidelines.

“We’re having a lot of increased enforcement,” she said, which is why council decided to close the rinks and parks.

“People aren’t willing to wear masks, they’re not willing to follow restrictions and guidelines that are in place, and so we’ve had no alternative but to close (the rinks).”

The resolution comes into effect on Jan. 14.

Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com