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May 21, 2020, 7:49 am

City of Richmond Begins Restoring Amenities and Services

City of Richmond

RICHMOND - Most outdoor park amenities including basketball and outdoor tennis courts will again be open to the public starting Wednesday, May 20 as part of the City of Richmond’s plan to restore services closed or restricted due to COVID-19.

Council has approved implementation of its program and services restoration plan, a step-by-step approach to reopening various City services, amenities and facilities while maintaining physical distancing and public health guidelines. 

From Wednesday, May 20, the community will begin to have access to a variety of amenities including bike and skate parks, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts (albeit with limited users at any one time), lacrosse boxes (again, with use limited to eight people and no organized games), and outdoor tennis courts (with one-on-one games only advised). Outdoor sports fields will also begin to open for recreational and passive use only. Organized games are not permitted. Indoor tennis courts are expected to reopen around Wednesday, May 27, again with no organized competition allowed.

“This is a carefully planned and phased approach to restoring many of the amenities and services closed in our community while maintaining and protecting public safety,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We know the past few months have brought uncertainty, frustration and even fear and that there is desire to restore services and facilities to where they were before the pandemic. 

“However, it is crucial that any decisions we make in the coming weeks must not compromise ongoing efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19,” he said. “That is why this plan is a cautious, step-by-step approach to returning access to the community in a controlled, staged and responsible manner.”

The plan outlines five steps to restoring services. The City will closely monitor the success of Step One implementation to ensure users are adhering to the rules and practicing safe physical distancing guidelines. Community Ambassadors, redeployed City employees, and Bylaws staff will patrol parks and other areas to remind people of the rules and reinforce the need for safety. Signage is also being put in place at the various locations.

If successful, the City will move to Step Two. This will see expanded access to outdoor park amenities such as playgrounds and picnic tables, as well as access to more players on basketball and volleyball courts at one time. Some outdoor recreation programs such as Walk Richmond will be restored, outdoor fitness classes will be offered through some community recreation facilities, while Britannia Shipyards will reopen on a controlled basis. A date for commencing Step Two has not been confirmed as yet.

Steps Three to Five includes a staggered approach to reopening recreation facilities, outdoor swimming pools, arenas and some registered programs and services. No timeline for these steps has been identified.

Along with the outdoor park amenities, the Richmond Public Library will also begin a curbside pickup and book returns service at Brighouse Library starting May 20. It plans to broaden that system to its other branches in the coming days.

Information on the timing of steps to reopen various services and amenities, as well as updates on further access, will be posted on the City’s website at www.richmond.ca/COVID-19 as well as through its social media channels.

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