British Columbia

Tennis courts, other parks in Metro Vancouver open up with special rules for the weekend

Tennis courts in Vancouver, along with several other Metro Vancouver municipalities, will be open this weekend as municipalities across Metro Vancouver lift restrictions put in place in March due to the COVID-19 crisis. There are rules for getting out to play, however.

Vancouver players need to keep safe distance and only play doubles with members of same household

People play tennis at the Port Moody Recreational Complex in Port Moody, British Columbia on Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Tennis courts in Vancouver, along with those in other Metro Vancouver municipalities, will be open this weekend as municipalities across Metro Vancouver lift restrictions put in place in March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

There are rules for getting out to play, however.

To keep courts and other amenities such as disc golf, basketball courts and lawn bowling open, municipalities are asking users to adhere to rules such as staying two metres apart, labelling balls so other players don't touch them and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

Vancouver to serve

The Vancouver Park Board is reopening 53 tennis and pickleball courts in neighbourhoods across Vancouver starting Saturday May 9.

Tennis courts at Kitsilano Beach and in Stanley, Queen Elizabeth, Strathcona, Trout Lake, Memorial South, and Champlain parks will be ready for play on Saturday morning. 

The remaining 135 city courts will reopen throughout the week, with all courts open for play by Friday, May 15.

The park board said it has consulted with Tennis B.C. and the Vancouver Pickleball Association on how to safely resume play.

New guidelines include keeping two metres apart from other players, limiting play to singles or doubles with partners from the same household, queuing up outside courts to play and marking balls so that other players don't mistake them for theirs.

A man plays tennis at the Port Moody Recreational Complex in Port Moody, British Columbia on Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Camil Dumont,  the chair of the Vancouver Park Board said in a statement that staff are reviewing all city-run facilities and public spaces to determine how to safely reopen more of them.

"We continue to seek advice from Vancouver Coastal Health, as well as provincial and federal governing bodies for information on revised best practices, with public safety as our top priority," said Dumont in the written statement.

The park board reopened VanDusen Botanical Garden, McCleery Golf Course, and Fraserview Golf Course on May 1. Langara Golf Course will reopen May 15.

Game on in Delta

Sports courts and other outdoor amenities are now open in Delta, with more to come, said the city.

Tennis courts, pickleball courts, disc golf, and lawn bowling are open along with Delta's artificial turf fields. Large gatherings and team sports are prohibited on the fields.

The city has posted signs at facilities about rules to use them. They include keeping two metres apart from others, avoiding large groups and limiting use at busy times.

Playgrounds, skate parks, bike parks, outdoor pools and outdoor fitness classes all remain closed.

New Westminster will employ what it calls "physical distancing champions," this weekend to monitor peoples' behaviour along its riverfront and at the facilities it is opening, which include outdoor tennis courts and skate parks.

The city says residents who witness others not complying with provincial health orders, such as physical distancing, can call a COVID-19 compliance hotline.

Coquitlam will also have ambassadors help ensure that health measures are being followed at city dog parks, outdoor tennis courts, skate parks and outdoor table games, which are being reopened on Saturday.

The city says it will clean washrooms twice daily at the facilities it is reopening this weekend.

Port Coquitlam has basketball

Port Coquitlam has opened its tennis and basketball courts, lacrosse boxes, leash-optional parks, along with bike skill and skate parks from dawn to dusk.

Like other municipalities in Metro Vancouver, it is asking users to maintain a two metre distance from others and practise other protective measures, such as washing hands frequently and staying away if you are feeling sick.

"We have come as far as we have because we've all done our part, so let's keep it up for the health and safety of everyone." said Mayor Brad West in a news release.

People play tennis at the Port Moody Recreational Complex in Port Moody, British Columbia on Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Metro modus operandi

Metro Vancouver says it expects warm weather this weekend to draw more users to regional parks, which are open with the exception of Barnston Island and Brae Island.

On Friday, it released guidelines it wants regional park users to heed in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"It is up to all of our visitors to do their part and keep each other and our staff safe during this critical time," said Sav Dhaliwal, chair of the Metro Vancouver board of directors. 

Metro Vancouver is asking people to stick to regional parks in their area and walk, bike or take transit to parks to avoid crowding parking lots.

Parking lots at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and Acadia Beach in Pacific Spirit Regional Park are closed.

It is also asking people to maintain physical distance, not leave garbage behind, including used tissues and not visit parks if you are ill.

Metro Vancouver park facilities such as playgrounds, docks, rental facilities and picnic areas remain closed.

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