Calgary is reiterating the need for citizens to practise social distancing, limiting the use of outdoor areas and ordering more closures in the city as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
During a news conference Friday afternoon, it was announced that effective March 27, at 6 p.m., all personal care businesses are to close their doors to the public.
“It was very clear to us that we needed to act on these types of personal care businesses,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.
“Whether we’re talking about tattoo parlours or spas and waxing practitioners, it’s just not safe.”
Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Tom Sampson said these closures also apply to non-essential health services, including physiotherapy and massage therapy offices.
“These businesses cannot maintain the physical distance required,” he said.
“We sincerely recognize the impact this will have on businesses in the community.”
It was also announced that the use of outdoor sports facilities will be prohibited, including skate parks, basketball and tennis courts.
The order relates directly to the playing of organized sports and not the use of the city’s green spaces, Nenshi said.
“We’re not closing the fields,” he said. “We’re keeping those open, but we’re asking for no more group sports.”
City-owned parks will now be patrolled by staff to ensure residents are keeping safe distances. However, Sampson added that going outdoors is encouraged as long as residents are being safe.
“Park staff will be monitoring city parks and reporting back on compliance,” Sampson said.
“I encourage you to explore the places less travelled in our city,” he added. “Two metres should be easy to maintain if we’re not all going to the same parks.
“It’ going to be a beautiful weekend, so go out but spread out.”
During the news conference, Nenshi noted that there’s still a small percentage of Calgarians not complying with the COVID-19 regulations.
He said while the city is doing everything it can to help residents navigate through this pandemic, it’s up to the public to put these safety measures into action.
“We are requiring people to be very responsible,” Nenshi said.
“Ultimately the government won’t save you from this virus, you have to save you from the virus.”
The mayor also noted that more closure orders could be coming down the pipe from the provincial government in the coming days. He said the city will work with the province on any new regulations that may need to be applied in Calgary.