City reopening 5 rinks Monday

The city of Ottawa is reopening five rinks Monday, with strict limits on who's allowed on the ice.

Strict rules will be in place to guard against COVID-19

Hockey Eastern Ontario and Skate Canada have released their own 'return to play' guidelines. (Shutterstock)

The City of Ottawa is slowly beginning to reopen indoor arenas that have been shuttered since March due to COVID-19.

The first phase will see five rinks reopen Monday: Ray Friel Arena 3, the Matt Bradley Rink at CARDELREC Goulbourn, Nepean Sportsplex Rink 3, Fred Barrett West Rink and the Tom Brown Arena.

But before you lace up, you should know there are restrictions

Ice rental is limited to businesses or sanctioned organizations involved with amateur or professional hockey or figure skating, and authorized by national or provincial sports organizations.

No more than 10 people will be allowed on the ice at any one time, as per provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

Kids practise hockey at Tom Brown Arena in 2016. It's one of five rinks opening in the city Monday. (CBC)

"All ice users that had cancelled permits for July and August were invited to apply for available ice time at these arenas by June 29, and ice allocation at these locations is currently underway," said Dan Chenier, the city's general manager of recreation, cultural and facility services.

In an email to CBC, the City of Ottawa said most sports' national and provincial governing bodies have developed protocols for COVID-19 and are providing their own directives to players on how to comply with Ontario's rules.

Before confirming a booking, the city will need proof of insurance, an attendance roster and permission from a governing body such as Hockey Eastern Ontario, which has its own 41-page return to hockey guidelines here

Skate Canada has a shorter return to skating guide here.

To decide which rinks to open next, the city said it's considering the availability of rinks in the area, the needs of local summer camps, any necessary maintenance and the overall demand.

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