OTTAWA -- Ottawa’s off-leash dog parks, tennis and basketball courts, sports fields and skateboard parks are now open for the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the city is reminding people to continue to practice physical distancing measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 this spring and summer.

As part of the Ontario Government’s phase one of relaxing the COVID-19 restrictions, municipalities can reopen outdoor sports fields and off-leash dog areas.

The city says effective immediately, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, Frisbee golf locations, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks and skate parks are now open.

Off-leash dog areas, benches, picnic areas and shelters are also open for the public.

Staff say crews have begun installing tennis nets and unlocking off-leash dog areas, but it will take a few weeks to complete the work.

The City of Ottawa is reminding all residents that they must continue to practice physical distancing while using the parks and facilities, including keeping at least two metres from others. Groups of more than five people remain prohibited under Ontario’s COVID-19 measures.

Under Ontario’s emergency measures, play structures, swings, slides, splash and spray pads, wading pools and exercise equipment in City of Ottawa parks remain closed.