Wednesday the government announced the gradual resumption of certain outdoor sports and outdoor activities.
As of May 20, in all regions, Quebecers will be able to resume golf, tennis, cycling, hiking and many other individual activities that are dear to them. The national parks and wildlife reserves of the Société des établissements de plein du Québec (SÉPAQ) will therefore be partially and progressively reopened as of this date, for daily activities only.
To minimize the risk of contagion, activities will resume in accordance with the recommendations of public health authorities. Each activity has been evaluated according to five criteria:
– physical distance between people during the activity;
– the place of practice (lower risk when practising outdoors);
– the equipment required;
– the type of sport (individual sports are lower risk);
– travel (lower risk for local activities).
All of these activities can be practiced by people while respecting physical distancing. People living under the same roof as the person with a disability will be able to offer accompaniment if needed.
In addition, guides have been produced in conjunction with CNESST and the Institut national de santé publique to help Quebecers resume their activities safely. In addition, sports federations and national recreation and outdoor organizations are working with the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur to develop guidelines adapted to their respective disciplines or fields of activity. They will be responsible for promoting them to their members, while specifying that health and safety instructions, particularly hygiene rules, must be followed for safe practice.
Isabelle Charest, Minister for Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women delivered the news during a press conference yesterday.
“For two months now, Quebecers have shown extraordinary cooperation by respecting the rules of confinement and distancing. To fight the pandemic, we have had to suspend many of our favourite activities. Like you, I feel like stretching my legs and I am very pleased to announce the resumption of several sports and leisure activities. We are beginning a return to normalcy that will take place step by step. Our priority remains the health of the population, and thanks to the discipline we have given ourselves in recent months, I am convinced that we will be able to remain safe while bringing physical activity back into our daily lives. Quebecers will once again be able to benefit from all the positive effects of their favourite activities,” Charest commented.
“This is a much-anticipated return to nature for Quebecers, who will be able to resume their favourite outdoor activities. I am delighted that fishers will be able to return to day fishing,” added Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions.
“The gradual resumption of activities in national parks and wildlife reserves will allow nature lovers to once again enjoy our exceptional territory. In the current context, I expect outdoor enthusiasts and day fishers to respect public health guidelines so that everyone can enjoy the joys of the outdoors in a safe environment,” the MNA concluded.
As of May 20, 2020, non-contact individual or two-person recreation will be permitted for the following activities:
Unorganized free practice recreational activities
White and still water canoe and kayak
Scuba diving, outdoor sports freediving
Outdoor horseback riding
Recreational sports activities for individuals or pairs, without physical contact, in free practice, outdoor location, with no or minimal access to locker rooms/restrooms.
Athletics (running and throwing events that take place outdoors)
Rowing (single boat only)
Speed canoe and kayak (single boat only)
Outdoor cycling activities
Swimming in open water (lakes)
Roller skating on road and track
outdoor tennis singles
Triathlon (open water swimming only)
Sailing (single boat only)