May 15, 2020
Yesterday, the Government of Ontario announced a huge step forward for sailing in Ontario that we are all thrilled to hear! After an investigation into the details of what was included in the announcement, here are some more details:
- Marinas and Boat Clubs were linked together in the government's news release, from that clubs can resume recreational services.
- Outdoor recreational sports centres, for individual sports, can be open with limitations.
- No clubhouses can be open, except for washroom use and emergency aid. (Any food service would be take-out only and should not be consumed on property)
- Sport activity, such as training or competition for individual or single competitors, can begin only when conducted directly by Ontario Sailing or Sail Canada as the recognized Provincial and National Sport Organizations.
- Clubs are not permitted to run any organized programs or events.
While this is all positive and the details were much clearer with this announcement than we anticipated in relation to clubs opening, we know there are areas we want to see progress on but for now, this is what we are allowed to commence doing.
Before we can jump on the water though, there are two very large areas that we strongly recommend that every club should fully address before considering opening.
- Ensure your municipality, and if different also your landlord, supports the provincial directive. This is key in supporting your ongoing relationships, but more importantly you are required to meet your local laws. We have seen many examples of municipalities interpreting things differently.
- The club must have clear and complete protocols in place to manage the ongoing requirements of COVID-19. This includes the physical distancing requirements for participants (2 meters and no groups larger than 5). If you have staff or volunteers in roles, then the workplace guidelines must also be developed in writing and you must be able to follow through on these items. This includes ensuring the employees and volunteers have the required personal protective equipment and you have sufficient quantities to last your needs.
Each Board of Directors is legally responsible to follow the guidelines and ensure that the pieces are in place before opening. We would like sailing clubs to be the gold standard for setting protocols to ensure that we do all we can to keep everyone in our community safe and enable us to continue to open more and more aspect of our facilities and programs. If you have questions on how to do this, please check our website for the appropriate COVID-19 resources or reach out to us.
Keep moving forward, one step at a time!