Club grounds temporarily open during Ontario stay-at-home order

08 Apr 2021 4:52 PM | Matthew Burpee (Administrator)

Yesterday, the Ontario Government announced a state of emergency and month-long stay-at-home order, which came into effect this morning. As of Wednesday, schools in Toronto closed under an order by our Medical Officer of Health

The reality right now is that COVID-19 variants, which are more transmissible and more dangerous, have changed the game. Case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are increasing rapidly, and we need to stop a devastating third wave. 

Ontario Sailing has reviewed Ontario's Stay-at-Home Order.

Ontario's Stay-at-Home Order

Yesterday Premier Ford announced that Ontario would be in a State of Emergency and the province issued a Stay-at-Home Order (Regulation 265/21). Under this provincial Regulation, individuals are only permitted to leave their homes for purposes deemed essential. Within that order, exercising and physical activity are acceptable reasons for individuals to leave their homes. Individuals are also permitted to leave their homes for work or volunteering when the nature of the work (paid or volunteer) requires it to be done outside of the household as deemed by the employer. (Reminder that any volunteer role should be officially documented and specific to required tasks.)

Provincial Regulation 82/20 (as updated to reflect changes made for April 8th, 2021), governs which businesses and organizations are allowed to be open and what conditions they are required to meet to provide anyone coming to their facility. Yesterday’s updates to the Regulations regarding organizations do not impact Boating clubs; there were no changes to that portion of that Regulation. As such, boating clubs may be open to provide opportunities for individuals who are allowed to leave their houses such as for recreational sailing and launch (see Regulations Overview document previously sent and attached below).

Under the Regulations, the fundamental practices of physical distancing, wearing masks and keeping groups to under 5 people must continue to be followed and enforced. The facility can determine how many can reasonably be on site while still maintaining the distancing requirements but note that you may not host any organized activity with more than 5 people. There should be no identifiable group gathering socially of more than 5 people on the property. Failure to meet this, or any other requirement, may result in the organization, the Directors and/or the individuals possibly facing fines.

It is extremely important to note that all the requirements for facilities and organizations that have been previously laid out under the Shutdown portion of the Regulations Overview that Ontario Sailing has provided are met under the responsibility of the Directors of each organization. To highlight some of those include:

  • Building only open to participants for washrooms, first aid areas or access to those areas

  • Boat owners doing activity with their boats should only be with household members

  • Safety Plan must be completed, posted for staff and accessible if requested

  • Signage about screening and other expectations posted

  • Staff and Volunteers are required to screen for COVID symptoms before attending the facility and that should be documented.

(Please review the full document carefully to ensure you are meeting all requirements).

We appreciate that the provincial government recognizes the importance of physical activity and mental well-being and the role organizations like yours play in supporting their communities. Being able to participate in safe outdoor recreation is key to helping people through these times. To continue to be recognized for our ability to provide these experiences, it is critical we all do everything we can to continue to be safe in all areas of our operations and activities. Each organization’s Board of Directors needs to carefully assess their risk and make decisions that work for their facility, organization and community. These decisions need to be made within the confines of your insurance coverage (recommend you check with your insurance providers) and local authorities.

We appreciate your patience as we worked with legal counsel last night and today to understand how the two different Regulations impact the different situations our member organizations may be facing across the province. We know these are challenging times and appreciate all your efforts to support sailing.

Please do your part and help keep our sailing community safe and work towards a safer and more open summer on the water!

Questions about COVID Regulations

We have provided as much clarity as possible based on the Regulations themselves. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Roddie ( or Glenn Lethbridge (


Regulations Overview – UPDATED April 3rd, 2021 (referenced above)

Below is an overview of the Regulations currently in place, broken down by different activities common to our member organizations. Please consider reading all areas to fully understand how you may be impacted. Each organization has to use the broadly written Regulations as the starting point for decisions about the risks they are willing to undertake as an organization, recognizing their own unique situations. We recognize that each of our member organizations face distinctive items impacting their risk assessment. For example, consideration needs to be given to items such as size and space, both indoor and outdoor, and what type of activities they are undertaking, also the number and variety of activities. Each organization’s Board will have to consider all the factors in their situation to determine their potential risks and how to address those risks.

All Activities & All Zone Classifications

  • All staff & volunteers need to complete the workplace screening before attending each day and confirmation should be documented and securely saved.

  • Signage is to be conspicuously posted for others about self-screening prior to entering the relevant premises.

  • You need to track the attendance of anyone coming inside the facility. (While this is not required in green, it is strongly recommended to maintain in green for consistency). This information is to be stored for a month and released, if requested, to Public Health.

  • Each organization needs a written safety plan that covers the procedures you have in place around COVID including screening, distancing, masks or face coverings and cleaning. This plan is to be posted conspicuously and available upon request.

  • Masks or face coverings are required inside facilities and recommended whenever within 2m of others.

  • 2m distancing must be maintained except in special situations in specific colour zones highlighted below.

Overall Clubhouse Activity

  • All Zone Classifications – can attend to check on property; staff and specified volunteers can get ready for opening.

  • Inside access is limited as follows:

  • Grey & Shutdown – allowed to access washrooms, first aid & food take-out / pick-up areas and the path to access those areas.

  • Red - allowed to access storage, washrooms, first aid & food take-out / pick-up areas and the path to access those areas.

  • Green/Orange/Yellow – limited to 50 people inside of building (as size permits).

(Note: if running different types of operations such as meeting space or Food & Beverage, there are different regulations specific to those activities to be aware of).


  • Allowed to be open in all classifications to launch but need to follow all workplace guidelines and consider recommendations based on classification.

  • Staff (including volunteers with specific job descriptions) are permitted to work under rules for marinas/boating clubs.

  • Ensure all workplace related rules are followed from regular health and safety to the screening requirements.

  • Maintain physical distancing as much as possible and masks or face coverings following Public Health Guidelines.

Recreational Sailing

  • Boating clubs are currently permitted to be open in all zone classifications.

  • In Shutdown, Grey & Red, only household members or caregivers are permitted within 2m of each other.

  • Recommend following public health guidelines for your zone classification in relation to activities permitted and protocols required.


  • Shutdown – no sport allowed - this would include any organized sailing activities such as practicing, training, racing or instruction.

  • Grey - Individuals are allowed to practice/train singlehanded – no competition (racing) or teams (no doublehanded or crewed boats). Participants are limited to 10 people at any time, and they must pre-book a time slot and have been actively screened. Collecting and saving information for contact tracing is required. Individuals are required to stay 3m apart and shouting/loud talking is not encouraged.

  • Red – Same as Grey, except individuals to stay 2m apart.

  • Green/Yellow/Orange

  1. Can come within 2m of each other only while engaged in sport.

  2. Masks or face coverings required except when exercising or playing sports.

  3. Stand-alone racing regattas are allowed – to a maximum of 100 people.

  4. “Leagues” – any organized series of regular races, such as club race nights (registered/awards etc.), is limited to a maximum of 50 people per group. (You could have 2 groups run in one evening as long as groups are separated). The Regulations indicate that each “team”, or in sailing a boat crew, is not permitted to compete against teams outside of their group or against teams outside their league.

  5. Given the evolving nature of colour designations, Notice of Races should include a note that due to COVID-related restrictions, there may be changes without advance notice.

Club Events

Organized club events with protocols including cleaning, physical distancing and masks or face coverings are subject to the following number maximums:

Sailing Schools – Day Camps

(For programs offered to youth in a Monday to Friday full or almost full day design that could provide care while parents are at work)

  • Permitted in all colour classifications, however not permitted in Shutdown

  • Need to follow Ministry of Health Guidelines for Day Camps.

  • Last updated Version 3 - August 13th, 2020, watch for an updated document.

  • Major change in Version 3 – Cohort size a maximum of 15, not including staff.

  • Screening of participants must be more actively done than with other patrons.

  • Cohorts cannot mix.

  • Check with local public health for local interpretations of their guidelines.

All Other Sailing Instruction – Cruising & Dinghy

(This includes all adult instruction and any once or twice/week or weekend program design).

  • Grey & Shutdown – no programs permitted.

  • Red – Recreational based programs permitted ONLY if 2m distancing can be maintained throughout for participants and instructors (Emergencies exempt). Indoor group size in whole facility limited to 10 participants, outside to 25 participants.

  • Green/Yellow/Orange – programs permitted to run; maintain 2m distance unless needed for specific instruction; masks or face coverings are required except when exercising or playing sports.

Please Note: Ontario Sailing does not set any COVID-related regulations or restrictions regarding your activities. We are sharing publicly available information regarding Provincial laws. Each organization’s board or owner is responsible for understanding your legal situation, managing your risk, making decisions on how to proceed, and managing any consequences; Ontario Sailing takes no responsibility for your reliance on the information we provide in our COVID-related communications.

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