|City applies a phased and cautious approach to relaunch|
|The City of Edmonton is putting public safety first as it plans for the relaunch of its services, attractions and facilities. |
“It is encouraging that the City is in a place to consider stage two reopening activities,” said Adam Laughlin, Interim City Manager. “We need to temper that anticipation and enthusiasm with realism and help Edmontonians understand that the process of relaunching might take weeks or even months. And even when they reopen, many facilities and services will look and feel different from what people are used to.”
On June 9, the Government of Alberta announced that indoor recreation centres, libraries, fitness centres, sports amenities, gyms, pools and arenas are allowed to open with restrictions. In anticipation of the announcement, the City had been working behind the scenes, planning what facilities and services can relaunch and what the financial and operational impacts may be. This planning includes what a phased relaunch approach might look like for recreation facilities.
“Planning is currently underway for the opening of a select number of City recreation facilities,” said David Aitken, chair of the City’s COVID-19 Task Team. “We are aiming for early July but there is much more work to be done to understand how we will implement the health guidelines and how this fits into the City’s larger financial reality.”
At today’s Emergency Advisory Committee, the City confirmed that the following services will relaunch in the coming days and weeks:Effective June 15, the City will resume booking and rentals of City-owned sports fields, ball diamonds and staffed fields and track and field facilities.
However, due to reduced staffing standard fields are mowed and maintained less frequently which will result in longer grass and more weeds than in previous years. Premier sports fields will receive regular maintenance. Field lining services will not be offered on any City fields this season.
Beginning June 15, the funicular will resume operation from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m, providing accessibility options into the river valley for Edmontonians. Additional COVID-19 prevention measures will be introduced, including limiting ridership to two people at a time, adding signage about physical distancing and increasing cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces.
Effective June 17, Beechmount Cemetery will open for general inquiries and walk-in services. South Haven Cemetery will open for in-person appointments only.Starting June 22, modified outdoor fitness programs will be offered in select locations. Starting later next week, individuals 13 years and older will be able to register for these programs on movelearnplay.edmonton.ca.
Starting mid-August, Big Bin events will resume with five events planned through to fall 2020.
As operations and facilities continue to change through the relaunch period, residents are encouraged to check the City’s website
for the latest information.