Starting May 20, the tennis courts and golf courses around the province will spring to life as the government will allow non-contact sports to resume, but with strict guidelines for the participants to follow. On Wednesday afternoon Junior education minister Isabelle Charest along with Dr. Richard Masse of the province's public health department made the announcement in Quebec City. The first activities to be permitted are those that can be practiced outdoors, either individually or with two participants, a two-metre physical distance needs to be maintained. Practitioners of rollerblading, jogging hiking, track and field, cycling, rock-climbing, canoeing, scuba diving and horseback riding are welcome to enjoy their activities. Provincial parks will reopen to accommodate several of those activities but people are being asked to enjoy the facilities in their own region. "We don’t want people to go from one region to another," he said. “We don’t want people (in Montreal) to go play golf in Bromont, for example,” Dr. Richard Masse said. The province is working with Provincial and National federations to adapt different sports to meet COVID-19 public health guidelines. While these individual pursuits are getting the green light, team sports such as soccer and baseball are still in limbo for the coming season. Charest said she understands that people will miss sports like soccer and baseball. “The province is looking at ways to allow modified versions of these activities,” Junior education minister Isabelle Charest said. “It may be possible for some teams to resume training, but team competitions are impossible for now.” It will be a gradual process as “we’re working in phases,” Charest said. “The first phase is individual training. In a few phases, we’re going to see group training. In that sense, kids may be able to play some kind of sports, but not the way we used to play because we have to apply all the rules and regulations.” With adaptations, outdoor pools could open later, again applying the rules set forth for distancing and the maximum number of people that could be in a pool at one time. Major League Soccer (MLS) looking to launch the season and the National Hockey League planning to finish the campaign but Masse said the province sets the criteria that need to be respected to protect athletes and fans when it comes to professional sports. “Sports and outdoor activities are very important for people's health, their mental health as well as physical health," Dr. Masse said. “That is why the province is looking closely at each activity to determine if they can be allowed and what sanitary measures need to be in place for them to happen safely.” Isabelle Charest added, "The objective remains that all Quebecers must remain safe. The risks, we know, are lower when we practice sports outside."

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