The City of Kingston is clarifying that City parks and playgrounds will remain open after the Government of Ontario’s announcement of an expansion and extension to the Stay-at-Home order on Friday afternoon. The provincial announcement included measures which increased enforcement powers for all police and provincial offences officers, and restrictions on outdoor amenities. Initially, the provincial restrictions included playgrounds and parks, but those measures were partially rescinded the following day.
On Saturday, Apr. 17, 2021, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared in a tweet that “Ontario’s enhanced measures were always intended to stop large gatherings where spread can happen. Our regulations will be amended to allow playgrounds but gatherings outside will still be enforced. Play outside safely. Parents keep your distance and wear masks if you can’t.”
“The City recognizes how important time outdoors is for the health and well-being of residents. City parks, including play structures, benches, paths and trails will remain open for residents to use,” the City of Kingston said in a release on Saturday, Apr. 17, 2021.
“Any person who uses these areas,” said the City, “shall maintain a physical distance of at least two metres, other than a person who is a member of the same household, a member of one other household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of either household.”
In the statement, the City also re-iterated that Kingston Police and City By-Law Enforcement Officers will not be conducting random stops, and residents will not be asked to provide documentation from their employers to validate why they are travelling. That statement comes after a previously reported announcement from Kingston’s Chief of Police, Antje McNeely, that Kingston Police officers would not be conducting random vehicle and pedestrian stops. “Everyone’s focus at this time is on public safety and the continued delivery of essential services. We ask all residents to do their part,” said Chief Antje McNeely.