Kelowna will open some outdoor facilities for the long weekend

Outdoor rec opening Friday

The City of Kelowna is moving toward a slow reopening of outdoor recreation facilities.

During a video news conference Wednesday morning, Mayor Colin Basran announced tennis and pickleball courts, skate parks, the disc golf park and BMX track will all reopen Friday.

Basran says those facilities will open for "casual use."

"You will see signs posted at these facilities that encourage people to follow directions for safety and compliance with provincial health orders," said Basran.

The mayor told Castanet News enforcement of physical distancing guidelines would like be on a complaint basis, and the city is prepared to shut down those facilities should physical distancing compliance become a continued issue.

"We are confident that people are going to be respectful that we won't have to do that.

"But, there is that possibility if people aren't using it in a respectful manner, and adhering to the orders where possible.

As part of an overall phased reopening framework the city has prepared, Basran says other outdoor facilities such as waterparks, basketball and volleyball courts, ball diamonds, playgrounds and limited use of some large indoor facilities, will reopen in the near future.

He was unable to state exactly when those openings will occur.

"Facilities such as the Parkinson Rec Centre could be opened progressively based on the recommendations from the province.

"Larger activity spaces could be used sooner than smaller spaces to ensure safe, physical distancing can be maintained."

For the moment, playgrounds and indoor facilities such as the Parkinson Rec Centre, aquatic centres, arenas and theatres remain closed.

Basran did reiterate city bylaw staff will continue to speak with people who gather together in public places to ensure they are being mindful to the risks to themselves and others.

He said bylaw officers responded to 368 calls between April 3 and May 11, four of which have been forwarded to Interior Health for further investigation.

Most of those calls were concerns over physical distancing.

Basran admitted the number of daily calls have decreased from an average of about 15 down to six.

More Kelowna News