Advocating for Outdoor Activities
With the current provincial lockdown expected to be in place for several more weeks, I want to add my voice to those asking the Ontario government to consider allowing more outdoor activities. While parks, trails, benches and playgrounds remain open here in Kingston, new provincial rules have required us to close basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields and golf courses. This has been hard on kids and families in our community, particularly those who may not have their own yard to play in.
With COVID-19 variants of concern circulating in our community, it’s critical that we all do our part to follow public health restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus. However, the data is clear that the vast majority of transmission happens in indoor settings, not outdoor ones. With the strain on people’s mental health right now, getting outdoors and staying active is more important than ever. Under the current rules, people in the same household can take a walk, visit a playground or go on a bike ride together. I’m asking the province to review the current rules to also allow those from the same household to be able to play catch or kick a soccer ball around on a sports field. Permitting golf courses to accept bookings from local residents would also provide another important outdoor activity that wouldn’t encourage travel from outside the region. During such a difficult time for our community, I believe permitting these low-risk outdoor activities is the right choice and I’m hoping the provincial government will have another look at this.