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Coronavirus: Kingston municipal boat launches reopened, but marinas to remain closed

The West Street boat launch, along with many others in Kingston,  reopened Tuesday as part of the city's COVID-19 reopening plan.
The West Street boat launch, along with many others in Kingston, reopened Tuesday as part of the city's COVID-19 reopening plan. Neil Mcartney

The City of Kingston has announced the reopening of municipally-run boat launches as of Tuesday, with a few exceptions — all boat launches at city-run marinas will remain closed.

The decision comes after the province allowed certain businesses and projects in Ontario to open May 4 as part of its novel coronavirus reopening plan, like garden centres and essential construction projects.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario allows certain businesses, workplaces to reopen May 4

Boat launches were not mentioned in the province’s updates. The city said the decision was made after looking at provincial orders and seeking advice from KFL&A Public Health.

The city noted that other municipalities have also decided to open boat launches.

The following boat launches are operational as of Tuesday:

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  • Grass Creek Park
  • Lake Ontario Park
  • Collins Bay boat launch
  • West Street boat launch
  • Cataraqui St. boat launch

The city is asking anyone who uses these launches to adhere to physical distancing regulations. Extra signage has been added at each city-run launch. Fishing is still allowed in Ontario during the coronavirus pandemic but the city is urging those who do fish on local waterways to follow provincial fishing regulations.

Under new provincial orders, marinas are not allowed to open, but marina staff are allowed to prepare for potential reopening in the near future.

The boat launches at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour and the Confederation Basin will remain closed for the time being, but city staff will start working to reopen them in the coming days.

Marinas, boating and COVID-19 in Peterborough
Marinas, boating and COVID-19 in Peterborough

The city says they will wait for provincial direction to decide when they will be opening up its marinas.

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In addition to this announcement, the city is reminding residents that although parks are still open, playgrounds, park benches, washrooms and picnic tables are still closed.