Government of Quebec announces new phase of sport deconfinement

By Matthew McCully

The Quebec government is moving forward with a new phase in the resumption of sports activities. As of June 22nd, indoor sports facilities as well as public and private beaches will be able to open again. Matches for team sports can also resume, in accordance with public health directives. The announcement was made yesterday by Isabelle Charest, Minister for Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women.
The training of beach lifeguards can also resume, Charest said.
“We have all missed sports in recent months, but with this new phase, Quebecers will be able to return to their hockey camps, gymnastics clubs and fitness centres. It is a return to normal that will have to be done cautiously, and we will have to make adjustments in the practice of our favourite sports activities. However, I am confident that we will adapt quickly,” the MNA commented in a press release.
Once this new phase is completed, combat sports will be the only sports still prohibited.
All applicable public health regulations must be respected, particularly those concerning non-essential travel and spectator gatherings. Quebec sports federations and national recreation organizations will guide their members and the public in this process.
Anyone with specific questions should contact their respective sports federation for details.
They should all be adapted and have a protocol, Charest explained during a phone interview. “Some more than others,” she said, using football as an example.
Sports facilities and training centres will be provided with guides to follow from the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), but each facility is expected to apply the guidelines as they see fit.
While locker rooms, bathrooms and showers can open, Charest said they should still be avoided whenever possible to help avoid the spread of COVID-19.
As long as people remember the basic principles of social distancing and frequent hand washing, they are welcome to resume their favourite sports, Charest explained. She added that at this phase of deconfinement, people can begin to use their judgement when it comes to sports while keeping safety measures in mind.
Bishop’s sports complex aiming for July to reopen
According to Matt McBrine, Director of Athletics and Recreation at the John H. Price Sports & Recreation Centre on the Bishop’s University campus, the facility intends to open “when the environment is safe for whoever comes into our space.”
McBrine said the sports complex will host a day camp for children starting June 29 and right now the priority is getting the space ready to meet those needs.
Bishop’s has a COVID taskforce, McBrine said, which he will meet with next week to present ideas for a reopening plan. Best guess at the moment, according to McBrine, is to try to open sometime in July.
“It’s a lot,” McBrine said, referring to the changes to be made. New hand washing stations have already been added, McBrine said, and new signage is being added in the complex as well as modifications to the washrooms.
Equipment in the fitness centre is also being moved to make sure there is a minimum of two metres between machines, he said.
While anxious to get the doors open again, “there are no shortcuts in this venture,” McBrine said, wanting to do everything necessary before reopening to provide a safe place for users.

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