After deciding last month to keep the Rotary Harbourfront Outdoor Rink open during the province-wide shutdown, the Town of Cobourg has now decided to temporarily close the rink.
Municipal council held a special emergency council meeting on Wednesday night (January 13) and unanimously decided to temporarily close the rink until 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 16th, until the Ontario government provides further clarity on what is allowed under the province’s stay-at-home order.
“We are trying to get this right in a very challenging and difficult environment,” said Cobourg mayor John Henderson. “Once we receive further direction from the Ontario government on the stay-at-home order, we can move forward with a more permanent decision on the rink.”
During an emergency meeting on December 23, council had decided to keep the rink open for the duration of the province-wide shutdown, which began on Boxing Day. A maximum of 10 skaters were allowed on the rink, which matched the maximum limit on outdoor gatherings allowed during the shutdown.
However, when the province declared a state of emergency on Tuesday (January 12), the maximum number of people allowed in an outdoor gathering was further restricted to five.
The province’s stay-at-home order, which came into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, allows people to leave home for essential purposes only. Although exercise is listed as an essential purpose, the government has provided no guidance on acceptable forms of exercise.
“What that means will be unique to each individual Ontarian,” reads a statement released by the Premier’s Office on Wednesday. “Some may wish to go for a walk around the block, while others may wish to go to a local basketball court with their household to shoot some hoops. We recommend that Ontarians consult their local public health unit or municipality to understand what recreational amenities are open in their community.”