OTTAWA -- The City of Gatineau is painting circles in the grass and assigning monitors to a popular Aylmer beach to encourage physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the temperatures have warmed up this spring, staff have had to intervene close to 1,000 times at Parc des Cedres at the Aylmer Marina to remind people to keep their distance and help limit the spread of COVID-19.

On May 24, Gatineau Police increased patrols at the beach after photos on social media showed hundreds of people at the beach.

In a statement, the city says an intervention plan has been developed for the beach to promote physical distancing and guide visitors.

  • Circles drawn on the grass to promote distancing. Gatineau says families and small groups can gather in the circles to enjoy a day at the beach while maintaining a safe distance from others.
  • Signs have been posted at the park's entrances to remind visitors of the importance of following proper distancing and hygiene practices
  • Ground markings on the shared bike path to remind cyclists and walkers to keep their distance when they pass.
  • Park monitors wearing a vest designed to remind visitors of the importance of physical distancing.

The City of Gatineau says staff have increased monitoring of the park, and Gatineau Police have stepped up patrols of the area.