OTTAWA -- Anyone within five metres of a playground in Ottawa will be required to wear a face covering starting Wednesday.

Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, issued the order late Monday.

Anyone within five metres of playground equipment, including play structures, swings, slides, climbers, and sand boxes, must wear a face covering under the new order.

All children under two are exempt, as are any children under five who cannot wear masks or cannot be persuaded to do so.

Playgrounds are open under Ontario's stay-at-home order, following a reversal of their closure over the weekend. The City of Ottawa says while most park amenities aside from playgrounds remain closed, people are permitted to walk, run and cycle through parks, but they must maintain two metres of physical distance from anyone outside their household.

Benches and off-leash dog parks can still be used, so long as everyone maintains physical distance.

"While Bylaw and Regulatory Services will exercise enforcement discretion, Ottawa Public Health reminds parents and guardians to ensure that children on playground structures, swings and slides wear masks and maintain physical distancing," the City of Ottawa said in a public service announcement. "These regulations have been put in place to support current Provincial restrictions and help curtail the current surge of COVID-19 in our community."

The new order for masks on playgrounds officially comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.