NANAIMO -- The City of Nanaimo has started to slowly reopen its outdoor recreational facilities amid the pandemic.

As of Thursday morning, the city has selectively reopened pickleball and tennis courts – with only singles play allowed – as well as gated off-leash dog parks and the Steve Smith Bike Park, which includes the pump track.

Numerous city amenities have been closed since March 16 due to COVID-19.

This is phase 1 of the harbour city’s step-by-step approach to reopening its outdoor facilities, and it follows guidelines set out by the BC Restart Plan.

As part of the reopening, signage has been posted at all sites that have been reopened. The signs remind people how to be safe and healthy while visiting city facilities.

Guidelines include:

  • Adhere to physical distancing guidelines from anybody outside your household (2 metres or 6 feet)
  • Wash your hands properly before coming to the park and after leaving
  • Avoid the area if you are sick or if you have been exposed to someone who has been sick
  • Do not share equipment, food, water bottles or other personal items
  • Do not congregate in groups larger than 50

It is unclear when playgrounds and indoor recreation facilities will reopen. The Ministry of Health, WorkSafe BC and BC Recreation and Parks Association are working with the city to come up with reopening guidelines.