GATINEAU, QC. -- The City of Gatineau is declaring playgounds, play structures, swings, skate parks, and sports fields off-limits, to help battle the spread of COVID-19.

The City says, effective immediately, these elements of municipal parks are off-limits until further notice.

"Access to other parts of the parks for strolling, jogging or walking dogs on leash is permitted; however, the [physical] distancing rules set by the Government of Quebec remain in effect and must be followed. It is also recommended that people not touch any of the outdoor furniture, such as picnic tables and benches in the parks, as elsewhere," the City of Gatineau said in a news release.

Dog exercise areas and the Jardins-Lavigne dog park are also closed until further notice.

The following dog parks are excepted:

  • parc de la Technologie, Hull sector;
  • parc Lamarche, Gatineau sector; and
  • parc du Lac-Beauchamp, Gatineau sector.

Dog owners must keep their dogs on-leash at all times and physical distancing rules must be maintained.

The City says signs will be posted and staff will be patrolling the parks to ensure compliance.

Gatineau has 364 parks, with a total of 365 playgrounds and 1,017 swings, according to the City.