image of family skating on outdoor ice rink

This Version Posted: February 8, 2021

Exercise is one of the reasons people can go out. If you are taking part in outdoor activities, try to find trails or rinks near your home and follow all public health measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

On This Page
In General
  • Do not go out if you are feeling sick. Stay home instead and use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Assessment Tool for further direction.
  • Stay close to home by accessing nearby trails, hills and parks . Avoid all non-essential travel.
  • Follow COVID-19 guidelines, especially practising physical distancing.
  • NEW: Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres from others outside your household. 
  • If possible, only do outdoor activities with people in your immediate family/household. If you are out with others, ensure you stay 2 metres apart.
  • The new limit on outdoor gatherings is no more than five people.
  • Obey any municipal gathering limits that may be in place at the hill, rink or trail that you use. It’s always important to keep apart from others outside your immediate household.
  • Wear appropriate helmets and safety gear.
  • Dress in layers to stay warm. Layer up based on the current weather conditions.
  • Download the free ParticipACTION app to access resources/suggestions on how to be active in the winter months.
Outdoor Skating
  • Follow all COVID-19 guidelines and directions when using a municipally-run outdoor skating rink. For municipalities, the following COVID-19 Guidance for Outdoor Ice Surface/Rinks and Outdoor Skating Trails is provided for your use.
  • For your own outdoor rink:
    • During the state of emergency, only allow members of your immediate family/household to use it.
    • Wear proper-fitting helmets when skating. Do not share equipment.
Tobogganing
  • Tobogganing is allowed, but only in areas and on hills where it is permitted. Avoid doing any risky manoeuvres such as sliding down the hill head-first.
  • Only toboggan with those in your immediate family or household.
  • Ensure you practise physical distancing at the tobogganing hill by staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others (excluding those in your own household)
  • If the tobogganing hill is too busy to maintain physical distancing, come back at another time when there are less people there.
Skiing
  • Cross-country skiing is allowed on designated trails. It’s best to only cross-country ski with people in your own immediate family or household. Try to pick trails close to your home.
  • Ensure you stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others outside your immediate household.
  • Wear proper helmet and safety gear.
  • Do not linger or socialize in parking lots.
  • Under the provincial COVID-19 shutdown, ski hills are closed.
Snowmobiling
  • Do NOT travel to places outside your region. Only use designated and available snowmobiling trails in your area. Visit the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) website for more trail information and openings.
  • Wear proper helmet and safety gear.
  • Ideally, only snowmobile with members of your immediate family/household.
  • If traveling in groups with people outside your household, practise physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres apart. Do not share food with each other and do not congregate on trails. Remember that the current limit on outdoor gatherings is only five people (failure to follow this could lead to fines).
  • Follow OFSC Ride Smart 2021 protocols to stay safe during COVID-19.
  • Plan ahead. Be aware that food may not be readily available during provincial COVID-19 shutdown. There may also be no places to warm up or use washrooms during your day.
Snowshoeing
  • Snowshoeing is allowed, but try sticking close to home. Go snowshoeing in your backyard or use parks/trails near your home.
  • Follow all COVID-19 guidelines that may be posted for trail use.
  • Limit snowshoeing with only those in your immediate family or household.
  • Practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others (except those in your immediate household)
Winter Trail Use
  • Follow guidelines for trail use.
  • Only use trails with people in your immediate family or household.
  • Do not gather in groups on the trail
  • Do not linger or socialize in parking lots
  • Maintain a 2-metre physical distance from other trail users.
Ice Fishing
  • Ice fishing is still allowed.
  • Rentals of ice huts is permitted. Ice huts should be large enough to allow for physical distancing.
  • Anyone renting ice huts needs to be screened for COVID-19 beforehand and provide contact information (in case contact tracing is needed).
  • Ice huts must only be used by members of a single household, and cannot be used overnight.
  • Any rental equipment (fishing rods) must be properly cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • Maximum outdoor gathering limit is 5 people under the current State of Emergency. 
  • NEW: It’s now recommended that masks or face coverings be worn outdoors if you can’t maintain physical distancing.
Parks and Playgrounds
  • Stick to parks and playgrounds near your home.
  • While parks and playgrounds are allowed to open during the provincial COVID-19 state of emergency, please check with your local municipality to see if you can still access them.
  • Ensure you practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others (except those in your immediate household).