Being Active During COVID-19

Last revised on August 10,  2020

Physical activity and getting fresh air are important for our overall physical and mental wellness. When staying home and keeping physical distance, there are still some ways to be active and get outside.

Our neighbourhood sidewalks, streets, multiuse paths, and dog parks are all available to get outside and get moving. When doing these activities, some ways to stay safe: 

  • Step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered a close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.
  • Keep 2 metres distance from others;
  • When moving at a fast pace (such as when running or cycling), it is best to stay as far away from others as possible;
  • If you must be behind another runner or cyclist, stay well back and try to stagger yourselves so as to not be directly behind them;
  • Change your route or the time of day that you go out, so that you can follow these guidelines.

Learn more on the new guidelines for the use of City parks

Before going outside, consider the following questions and assess whether you can keep a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from others:

  • Does my home environment (i.e. a tall apartment building with limited elevators or narrow hallways) make it difficult to have space from others?
  • Is my normal walking route crowded right now?
  • Will I be tempted to talk with others and not maintain a 2 metre (6 feet) distance?
  • Will my young children have a hard time keeping a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from others, particularly other children?

Who can be active outside?

For some people, it is okay to go out for a walk, run, or bike-ride. Others may need to stay in their homes for their own safety and/or the safety of the community.

Follow the instructions for your situation below:

 Can I get fresh air in my private property (e.g. backyard, balcony, porch)?Can I go for a walk/run/bike-ride off my private property?
Individuals who have returned from travel outside Canada Yes No
Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild Yes No
Individuals who are a close contact of a confirmed/suspected case of COVID-19 Yes No

All persons 70 years of age and older

Yes You are considered high risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges you to stay home
Individuals who are immunocompromised (or underlying medical conditions)  Yes You are considered high risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges you to stay home.
All other Ottawa residents (except those listed above) Yes Yes, but only if you can keep 2 metres (6 feet) from others  and you have NO symptoms of COVID19

Remember to wash your hands when you come back in from outside.

Ideas to stay active at home

If you can’t get outside or don’t have access to a private outdoor space, there are many ways to be active indoors. 

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