Playing Outdoor Tennis during the Province of Ontario’s Stay at Home Order


OTA Covid-19 update, April 8, 2021:

Playing Outdoor Tennis during the Province of Ontario’s Stay at Home Order

The OTA can report the following information based on updated protocol during the Province of Ontario’s Stay at Home order, as per the following Province of Ontario regulation:

s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA) – originally filed and invoked January 13, 2021 and re-invoked April 8, 2021.

Under Schedule 1 of the Act:

  1. (1) Every individual shall remain in their place of residence at all times unless leaving their place of residence is necessary for one or more of the following purposes:

         16.  Exercising, including,

i.  walking or moving around outdoors using an assistive mobility device, or

ii. using an outdoor recreational amenity that is permitted to be open under the Stage 1 Order.

To view the complete Stay at Home Order, click here.

With respect to the Province of Ontario regulation : O. Reg. 82/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 1

… which is under;

Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17 – updated April 3, 2021,

… under Schedule 3, in O. Reg. 82/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 1, the following outdoor activities are allowed to continue in the Shutdown Zone if physical distancing and other Covid-19 protocol can be maintained:

  • Parks and recreational areas, baseball diamonds, batting cages soccer, football and sports fields, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks, skate parks, frisbee golf locations, cycling tracks and bike trails, horse riding facilities, shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs, ice rinks, tobogganing hills, snowmobile, cross country, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails, playgrounds, portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment.
  • An outdoor recreational amenity described in the sub-section above may only open if,

(a) any person who enters or uses the amenity maintains a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is using the amenity;

(b) team sports are not practised or played within the amenity;

(c) other sports or games that are likely to result in individuals coming within two metres of each other are not practised or played within the amenity; and

(d) any locker rooms, change rooms, showers, clubhouses, restaurants,  pools, meeting rooms, fitness centres or other recreational facilities on the premises remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to equipment storage, a washroom or a portion of the amenity that is used to provide first aid.

With respect to providing tennis instruction, Schedule 2, Sub-section 48, clause (4) states: “For greater certainty, no indoor or outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted at any indoor or outdoor sport and recreational facilities.”

Note: in O. Reg. 82/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 1, a reference to the Shutdown Zone is a reference to all areas listed as being in the Shutdown Zone of Stage 1 in section 1 of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 363/20 (Stages of Reopening) made under the Act. O. Reg. 96/21, s. 2. A reference to Grey Zone is a reference to all areas listed as being in the Grey Zone of Stage 1 in section 2 of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 363/20 (Stages of Reopening) made under the Act. O. Reg. 96/21, s. 2.

For clarity, when reviewing the regulations, please note that Schedules 1 to 5 of 82/20 cover the Shutdown Zone Ontario. Schedules 6 to 9 cover the Grey Zone, which has different set of restrictions.

To view the complete document, click here.

As always, the OTA recommends that a member club should check with their local municipality to ensure it is not in violation of local regulations. The Province does not mention anything particular with respect to playing singles vs doubles and in the OTA’s experience so far, that decision has been left up to the individual municipalities. It is important to note that all municipalities can put forth their own provisions and guidelines based on the framework provided through the Ontario Reopening Act and its regulations, including the Stay at Home Order. Municipalities are permitted to create bylaws that exceed the minimum standards upheld by the province but are not compelled to do so. To ensure that your club is not in violation of the local municipal health regulations and by-laws, please check with the authority in your club’s area. For links to Ontario’s 34 health departments, 51 regions, counties, districts and cities or 444 municipalities, you can access a previous OTA Covid-19 release here.


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