City cancels some recreation programs as Hamilton enters COVID-19 red zone

All swimming lessons, gym drop-ins and general interest programs run by the city have been cancelled as Hamilton enters the red “control” zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework Monday.

The city announced the changes which are “effective immediately” in a media release Sunday night.

The cancellations include all fall registered programs, including fitness and sport, and all drop-ins such as pickleball, badminton, basketball, table tennis, Waterfit and open gym.

The maximum number of people allowed in a recreation facility at one time will also be capped at 50.

Credits will be issued for those missing out on their registered programs and refunds will be handed out by request, according to the city.

Residents are asked to email [email protected] to get a refund.

Some drop-in programs, such as open swim, length swim and seniors general interest, will continue with the following enhanced safety measures:

  • Reservations will be required for entry.
  • Stays will be limited to 90 minutes.
  • Contact information for all patrons and people playing a team sport will be required.
  • No spectators permitted (except for a parent or guardian to supervise children).
  • Programs, space and facility capacities will be further reduced.

The city says staff will be contacting facility renters and sports groups to let them know how their permits or agreements might be affected.

Hamilton entered the red zone as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, meaning residents are waking up to new restrictions.

In the red zone, gatherings are confined to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious services, weddings and funerals are confined to 30 per cent capacity indoors and 100 people outdoors. The maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated at a bar or restaurant indoors is 10. Outdoor dining, take out, drive thru, and delivery are all permitted. 

The measures will be in place for at least 28 days.

Residents are asked to restrict their close contacts to members of their households and essential supports.

Only essential activities outside the home such as work, school, fitness and getting groceries should be carried out in-person.

The city is urging people to limit their social interactions to people who live under the same roof, though those that live alone can join another household for support.

People are reminded to wash their hands often, stay home and get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and to wear a mask when around others, in public or outdoors in places where they can’t maintain physical distancing.

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