Londoners reminded to stay 6 feet apart when enjoying the fresh air amid coronavirus pandemic

London’s medical officer of health is encouraging people to get out and enjoy the fresh air but still remember the importance of physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, Dr. Chris Mackie, London’s medical officer of health and CEO of the Middlesex London Health Unit, spoke positively about people getting out for fresh air.

“It’s about finding a place to enjoy the great outdoors or a park where you will not be in close contact with people outside of our family.”

On Thursday, the City of London announced that sports fields, baseball diamonds, and dog and skate parks are among the outdoor amenities being reopened for public use.

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Mackie said the key to more things reopening is that residents still remember to give people space.

“You have someone jogging by who might be huffing and puffing and that is someone you are going to want to give significant distance to,” Mackie said. “People need to step off the trails when there is a risk of breaking that six-feet barrier.”

Family rollerblading in Greenway Park in London Ontario on May 22, 2020

Family rollerblading in Greenway Park in London Ontario on May 22, 2020

Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

He warns against people letting their guard down and getting too close to people who don’t live with you, even if they are someone you know.

London Mayor Ed Holder echoed Mackie’s sentiment during Friday’s media briefing, reminding people that the reopenings do not mean people should be congregating in groups of more than five people.

Residents Global News spoke to at Greenway Park in London seemed on board with the new openings.

A London resident since 1985, Carol Hunter said opening amenities up is good as long a people keep their distance.

“I find everyone is very much that way. I have enjoyed it and thank goodness we have our parks.”

Londoner Linda Avola was out for a walk with a friend and her two grandchildren.

“I am a little concerned about the number of people that might use (the parks) and hoping we can keep our social distancing, but I really think that mentally, everyone needs to be outside.”

Avola told Global News she is grateful the children can run around and everyone is being polite.

“We are Canadians, so we are polite, and I think everyone is giving the distance, but it’s nice people are also saying hello, and there’s a smile, and I think we all need that right now.”

Mackie is also reminding people to keep an extra eye on children when they are out to ensure they practice physical distancing.

Despite many outdoor facilities starting to open, playground structures, splash pads and pools all remain closed.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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