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Update on Sports and Recreation

Quarantine has left people trapped inside their homes. For many athletes, this makes it quite challenging to maintain training and practice sessions. With social distancing regulations in place and the closure of many community centres, you will likely find yourself longing to get back on the field, the court, the ice, the mats—all the places COVID-19 has restrained you from.

Sports environments before the pandemic (Unsplash).

Well here comes the good news! Across Canada, provinces are heading into various stages of the reopening process. With that, recreation centres and sports facilities are beginning to open back up to the public.

Here is an update on the reopening of recreational sports and activities across Canada!

British Columbia

British Columbia is currently in Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan. Recreation centres, gyms, fitness centres, yoga studios, and dance studios have begun opening with safety protocols and physical distancing measures in place. Before visiting these facilities, review the safety protocols and guidelines to ensure safety.

Visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/

covid-19-provincial-support/bc-restart-plan for more details.


Alberta is currently in Stage 2 of the Relaunch Strategy. Stage 2 allows sport and recreation services to reopen with physical distancing and other public health guidelines in place. This includes team sports, indoor facilities such as gyms and arenas, and pools.

Visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-relaunch-strategy.aspx for more details.


Saskatchewan is currently in Phase 4 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan. Part I of this phase, effective June 22, allowed for outdoor pools and seasonal/recreational outdoor sports and activities to open. From July 6, as the second step in Part II of this phase began, indoor sport, activities, pools, and rinks have reopened.

Visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resou

rces/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/re-open-saskatchewan-plan for more details.


Manitoba has implemented Phase 3 of Restoring Safe Services as of June 21. Community centres and other facilities are open with safety guidelines and physical distancing measures in place. Gathering in both public and private settings are limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, where physical distancing can be maintained. Restrictions are also present at golf courses, where a maximum of 4 golfers are allowed per group and 2 allowed per golf cart.

Visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restoring/approach.html for more details.


Ontario is taking a regional approach to reopening. Currently, the province has entered Stage 3 of the reopening process, except for regions in the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Lambton and Windsor-Essex—these regions will enter Stage 3 at a later date. Stage 2 included the opening of outdoor recreational facilities and outdoor recreational team sports. In Stage 3, nearly all public spaces are safe to open. Gathering limits are increased to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. However, there are still restrictions on prolonged or deliberate contact during sports, to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

Visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario-stages for more details.


Québec is taking a gradual reopening approach, without defined stages or phases in the process. Currently, all indoor sports facilities, training centres, and outdoor pools are permitted to reopen. Both indoor and outdoor sports and leisure activities—including team sports—are permitted to resume regular operations, given that Public Health guidelines are followed.

Visit https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/gradual-resumption

-activities-covid19-related-pause/ for more details.

New Brunswick

All zones of New Brunswick are currently in the Yellow Level, which is the third stage of the NB’s recovery plan. This level allows for the reopening of swimming pools, gyms, yoga and dance studios, ice rinks, and indoor recreational facilities. Low-contact team sports may resume. Public Health guidelines must be followed and physical distancing must be maintained between people that are not close friends/family.

Visit https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/promo/covid-19/recovery.html for more details.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has allowed all fitness establishments—including gyms and yoga studios, outdoor sports facilities, and public pools to reopen, as long as the Health Protection Act Order and sector-specific plans are followed. During sports and physical activities, you must be mindful of gathering limits. Gathering limits without physical distancing is a maximum of 10 people, with physical distancing is a maximum of 50 people, and up to 250 people for events run by a recognized business or organization.

Visit https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/ for more details.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is currently in Stage 4 of the Renew PEI, Together plan. Recreational facilities—including swimming pools, arenas, gyms, fitness centres, yoga and Pilates studios—have since reopened. Organized recreational gatherings, such as sports training and practices, have also begun with physical distancing and Public Health measures in place. 

Visit https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/renew-pei-together for more details.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is currently at Alert Level 2 of the COVID-19 Alert Level System. This level permits the opening of gyms, fitness facilities, arenas, and indoor pools, with restrictions. Outdoor gatherings have also been increased to a maximum of 50 people, as long as physical distancing is maintained.

Visit https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/alert-system/ for more details.


These past few months have been, without a doubt, difficult times for all. For athletes, many have been forced to find alternate ways to exercise during quarantine. As the nation begins to reopen, life begins to regain a sense of normalcy. However, we must approach this carefully to safely prevent the spread of COVID-19. Practicing physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and closely following Public Health regulations are essential. From there, we can anticipate the long-awaited return to all our favourite sports and activities!


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Alert Level System. (2020, June 26). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from


BC's Restart Plan. (2020, June 29). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from



Gradual resumption of activities under the COVID-19-related pause. (2020, July 15). Retrieved

July 20, 2020, from https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019


NB's Recovery plan. (2020, July 18). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from


Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from




Renew PEI Together. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from


Reopening Nova Scotia. (2020, June 18). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from


Reopening Ontario in stages. (2020, July 20). Retrieved July 20, 2020, from


Restoring Safe Services Together: Manitoba's Phased Approach. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2020,

from https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restoring/approach.html

Rocca, R. (2020, July 15). Ontario reopening Stage 3: Gathering limit increasing as indoor dining,

gyms permitted to reopen. Retrieved July 20, 2020, from


Treble, P. (2020, June 25). Coronavirus in Canada: Reopening plans province-by-province.

Retrieved July 20, 2020, from https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/coronavirus-in-canada


Article contributors: Victoria Huang, Sherilyn Wen