Winnipeg playgrounds, skate parks and fields close as COVID-19 restrictions tighten

Effective immediately, all City of Winnipeg-owned playgrounds, skate parks and recreational sports fields are closed as all of Manitoba prepares to move into the red, or critical, level of the provincial pandemic response plan.

City parks, including dog parks, will remain open, but people are asked to physically distance and group sizes are limited to five people or less, Jay Shaw, the city’s assistant chief of emergency management, said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Shaw says these measures were ordered by the province.

In the event the closures aren’t respected, the city will enforce the measures, he said.

“If you’re following the public health orders to the letter of the law, you’re going to keep that money in your pocket. But if you’re not, there’s a strong potential you’re going to get a fine now,” he said.

The city has fined one business since Nov. 6 — Gymboree Play Centre on Kenaston Boulevard — for not closing when it was supposed to, Shaw said.

Mayor Brian Bowman said he hopes the latest restrictions across the province will help flatten the curve. (Kevin Nepitabo/CBC)

Bylaw officers have also been proactively entering businesses to ensure they’re complying with public health orders, he said, but have mostly issued verbal warnings.

Mayor Brian Bowman says he supports the province’s latest move to the red level.

“We’re in the storm right now, and we will get through this,” he said. “I’m hopeful that this measure will help us once again flatten the curve.”