SUDBURY -- People in Greater Sudbury can head to city lakes and parks again, as part of the Phase 1 reopening plan unveiled by the province last week.

But while they are open, physical distancing and other restrictions are in place as concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic persist.

"Residents can use municipal parks, beaches and open spaces for recreational activities alone or with members of the same household," the city said in a news release Wednesday afternoon. "For example, playing catch, reading a book, throwing a Frisbee, or doing personal fitness exercises."

Parks, beaches, trails, sports fields and other recreational areas and open spaces will be maintained to ensure public safety, however services may be delayed. This means grass cutting, garbage cleanup and other general maintenance activities may take longer than usual.

No lifeguard supervision will be available at municipal beaches this summer.

"Rescue equipment will be placed at beaches, however, residents who choose to swim will do so at their own risk," the release said. "Daily inspections such as water safety checks will not occur."

While open, provincial orders require anyone using outdoor parks or recreational areas to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other people who not a part of their household. These orders also ban social gatherings of more than five people. To report violations, call 311.

"City bylaw officers and contracted security will patrol the use of these spaces, and signage will be in place to remind users of rules," the release said.

If residents don't follow the rules, or if the number of people using a facility makes physical distancing a challenge, "the city will further review and implement changes as necessary."

Under the province’s emergency orders, playgrounds, splash pads, field houses, and all indoor recreational amenities remain closed. Washrooms at parks and beaches also remain closed.

Greater Sudbury operates seven beaches that are normally staffed from June through to August. Lifeguard service has been suspended for the 2020 season.

For COVID-19 updates and information related to city services, visit For the most up-to-date local information on COVID-19, and for tips on preventing heat-related illness, visit the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website at