COVID-19 Pandemic – Gradual resumption of sports, leisure and outdoor activities

QUEBEC, May 13, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – subject to the application of the principles of social distancing and all of the recommendations of Public Health, the government of Quebec announces the gradual resumption of the recreational practice of certain sports, leisure and activities that are held outside. Starting May 20, in all regions, Quebecers will be able to reconnect with golf, tennis, cycling, hiking and many other individual activities that are dear to them. The national parks and wildlife reserves of the Société des establishments de plein-air du Québec (SÉPAQ) will therefore be partially and gradually reopened as of this date, and only for daily activities.

To minimize the risk of contagion, activities will resume in compliance with the recommendations of public health authorities. Each activity was evaluated according to five criteria :

  • physical distance between people during the activity;
  • the place of practice (less risk when practicing outdoors);
  • the required equipment;
  • the context of practice (less risk during free practice);
  • travel (less risk for local activities).

All these activities can be practiced by people with physical limitations. People living under the same roof as the disabled person can offer support if necessary.

In addition, guides have been produced in conjunction with the CNESST and the National Institute of Public Health to help Quebecers resume their activities safely. In addition, sports federations and national leisure and outdoor organizations, in collaborattion with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to draw up guidelines adapted to their respective disciplines or fields of intervention. They will be responsible for promoting it to their members, while specifying that health and safety instructions, in particular hygiene rules, must be observed for safe practice.

Citations :

“For two months now, Quebecers have shown extraordinary collaboration in respecting the rules of confinement and distancing. To fight the pandemic, we had to suspend many of our favorite activities. Like you, I want to stretch my legs and I am very happy to announce the resumption of several sports and leisure activities. We are starting to return to normal, which will be done step by step. Our priority remains the health of the population and thanks to the discipline we have given ourselves in the past months, I am convinced that we will be able to remain safe while bringing physical activity back into our daily lives. Quebecers will once again benefit from all the positive effects of practicing their favorite activities.

Isabelle Charest, Minister responsible for Education and the Status of Women


« “This is a long-awaited return to nature for Quebecers, who will be able to resume practicing their favorite outdoor activities. I am delighted that the fishermen will be able to return to fishing. The gradual resumption of activities in national parks and wildlife reserves will allow nature lovers to enjoy our exceptional territory again. In the current context, I expect outdoor enthusiasts and fishers to respect public health guidelines so that everyone can enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment.

Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the regions of Abitibi-Temiscamingue and Northern Quebec


Highlights :

Starting May 20, 2020, individual or two person recreational practices, without physical contact, will be permitted for the following activities:

Unorganized free practice leisure activities:

  •  Whitewater and calm water canoe and kayak
  •  Running
  •  Rock climbing
  •  Kitesurf
  •  Day fishing
  •  Paddle board
  •  Scuba diving, outdoor sports apnea
  •  Outdoor horse riding
  •  Hiking
  •  Surf

Indivicual or two-person recreational sporting activities, without physical contact, in free practice, outdoor place of practice, without access or minimal access to a sanitary block :

  • Athletics (running and throwing events that take place outside)
  • Rowing (single boat only)
  • Speed canoe and kayak (single boat only)
  • Outdoor cycling activities
  • Golf
  • Sea kayak
  • Open water swimming (lakes)
  • Roller skate on road and track
  • Roller skiing
  • Single outdoor tennis
  • Triathlon (open water swimming only)
  • Sailing (single boat only)