The RCA Outdoor rinks are open for public skating and individual training. However, we have had to change some of the guidelines and rules around the use of the rink to comply with all current public health guidelines as per the CMOH, AHS and the City of Calgary. The following answer some of the most frequently asked questions around rink use:
1. Is a group of unrelated people skating on the same ice considered a ‘Group Physical Activity’?
It depends on whether the group intends to skate together (e.g., at the same time, interacting with one another, for the same purpose).
- If a group of people comes to the rink at the same time for the express purpose of skating together for practice, training, or physical exercise, then this is a group physical activity.
- If a group coordinates a visit to the rink at the same time to skate together socially, members of this group would be forming a private social gathering, which currently, is not allowed.
- If multiple people from different households arrive at the rink for the purpose of skating individually or with their household members only (e.g., these people are not skating together as a group), with no intention of interacting with people outside of their household, this is not considered a group physical activity, or a private social gathering.
- If an informal cluster of individuals decide to “throw their sticks in the middle” and form a game of hockey, this would become group fitness activity and would be inappropriate as hockey does not lend itself to physical distancing. Therefore, we have removed the rink nets (temporarily).
2. If more than 10 people are skating on an outdoor ice rink at the same time, if they are unrelated strangers who have come to skate and not socialize, and are able to maintain 2metre physical distancing from those not in their household, is this allowed?
- There can be more than 10 people on an outdoor rink at one time. The number of people who can skate on an outdoor ice rink is set out by our rink coordinator and is established to be a maximum of 50 people who can be in the space with physical distancing between them. People who are from the same household do not need to maintain 2 meters distance from one another.
3. Are people able to play ice hockey on outdoor rinks?
- No. Hockey is a sport that does not permit physical distancing. While outdoor group fitness is presently permitted up to ten people, CMOH Order 26 compels all Albertans to maintain physical distancing of 2 meters. The only exception to this would be if players were all members of the same household. Due to the complexities of this, and the inability to police this aspect of rink use, the RCA has made the decision to temporarily remove the rink nets until further notice.
4. Ice hockey example: Hockey game at an outdoor rink, 4 on 4 (8 people total). Is this allowed if the people are not from the same household? People think that this is allowed since it is below the 10-person outdoor gathering limit. However, would this be considered a group physical activity, and as such, not allowed?
No outdoor hockey games (as normally played) are allowed at this time. Hockey is an example of group physical activity where participants cannot maintain 2-meter distancing.
5. So, what exactly is allowed on the rink?
Public skating and individual training are allowed on the rink. Rink users who are part of the same household (meaning you all live in the same house) may skate together without physical distancing. Rink users who are not from within the same household MUST always maintain 2 metre distancing.
You should wear a mask where it could be difficult to maintain a 2-metre distance from people outside of your household. For example, masks can be worn:
- From the parking lot to the skating rink
- When putting skates on or taking them off
- On the ice
6. I want to do my part to abide by all current public health orders and want to enjoy the rink. What is the safest way to do this?
- Follow all current Public Health Orders
- Avoid crowded areas
- Maintain physical distancing whenever possible
- Wear a face covering where it is difficult to stay 2 metres away from others, even when you are outside
- Avoid gathering with those outside of your household (unless you live alone and are meeting up to two close contacts, or it is unplanned that you happen to be at the same place at the same time)
- Do not gather or loiter in parking areas
- Wash your hands with soap and water before you leave home and after you return home
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and face
- Cover coughs and sneezes in a tissue or your elbow
- Carry and use your own hand sanitizer