On Friday, April 16, the Province of Ontario announced new regulations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. The province also extended the state of emergency and stay-at-home order for an additional two weeks. These orders/regulations will now expire on May 20, 2021 unless extended by the province.
The new regulations focus on closing outdoor amenities, reducing retail capacity/gathering limits and pausing non-essential construction. Full details regarding the new regulations are available on the Ontario Government website.
In response to requirements of the new provincial regulations, all sporting fields and multi-use courts, skate parks and pavilions will be closed until further notice.
- Municipal boat ramps
County-owned boat ramps will remain closed, barricaded and signed.
- Public parks, trails, beaches and piers
Public parks, trails, beaches and piers remain open for walk-through access only.
Playgrounds were initially deemed to be closed when the new regulations were announced Friday, however, the Province repealed this decision and they remain open at this time.
Libraries will remain closed to in-person service, however, contactless curbside pickup services will continue.
- Municipal By-Law Enforcement & Building
By-law will continue to monitor these amenities in light of new regulations and take an education-first approach to enforcement.While the County office is closed, Building staff are still doing permit application intake via email, mail or drop off at the HCAB (mail slot). They continue to process permits and also issue them for construction projects that are permitted within the new regulations.
Given the stay at home order will extend well into the spring the following implications are noted:
- Outdoor recreation programs such as baseball and soccer will likely be delayed from normal start times;
- Landscaping services are listed as a permitted service. This includes turf management, landscape lighting, landscape irrigation, grounds management, landscape construction, landscape design. As such, subject to meeting safety protocols, horticultural groups who work with the County will be permitted to continue normal spring clean-up and planting activities;
- Farmers’ markets are permitted to remain open, however, they are limited to essential products only (i.e. food). For this reason, vendors who sell textiles, crafts, etc. are not permitted to set up until further notice.
Staff will continue to monitor the continuously changing Provincial direction and respond accordingly.
For the most up-to-date list of what’s open and what’s closed during the stay-at-home order, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.