The Ontario Sailing team has had a few questions come forward looking for clarification on a topic related to the update we sent out on Tuesday.
As Club Leaders, you know that this was in addition to the over 16 updates that have been shared during the pandemic with the constantly evolving situation and regulations.
To reiterate the main messages from the update, boat clubs including yacht clubs are able to open as businesses and are allowed to permit recreational boating including launching and related activities. Boat clubs have been identified as essential businesses and are therefore exempt from some of the regulations under Ontario's Emergency Orders.
One of the areas where there seems to be some confusion is in regards to the limits on social gatherings and organized events to only 5 people. Business functions of your club are not social gatherings and therefore not limited to 5 people. Social activities at the club should be limited however business functions such as launch or operating food services for take out are not limited to groups of 5 people.
Ontario Sailing, in our webinars held earlier this month that focused on reopening clubs, gave some suggestions in regards to maintaining the physical distancing requirements of 2m. Additionally, we discussed the use of Personal Protection Equipment in any situation where this is not possible. This was to assist Boards in ensuring due diligence is met in creating procedures that are suitable for your organization to meet legal requirements.
Note that the wide variety of regulations provided by the Government of Ontario impact the club in three different areas - social activities, sport activities and the business functions. Each area of the regulations has different requirements which need to be applied to the appropriate aspect of your club's activities. Additionally, your local municipality and/or your insurance may have other aspects to consider as well.
I hope this clarifies any confusion. Our hope with our newsletter update was to provide a general overview of the details of the various current pieces of legislation and highlight, to the members of each organization, the hard work that is being done by Boards across the province to determine how to follow the guidelines and set the appropriate protocols in place.
I encourage you to reach out to the staff team at Ontario Sailing anytime if you need any clarification of the current legislation or our communications and understanding of that legislation. We are here to support clubs in the many challenging decisions they are facing in these unusual times.
Keep moving forward!