Government of Ontario announces York Region exiting Lockdown, Toronto, Peel remain in Lockdown
February 22, 2021

Ontario Soccer continues to work in consultation with Canada Soccer and the Government of Ontario, as we prepare for Return to Play 2021. Ontario Soccer will keep the membership updated with the most recent developments surrounding Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Plan.

The Government of Ontario announced today that it is ending the Provincial Lockdown and Stay at Home orders for York Region beginning on Feb. 22 and phasing-in a return to the Public Health Restrictions for the remaining Public Health Units and their respective colour-coded zones. Click here to find out when your Public Health Unit is scheduled to end its Lockdown.

Organizations can find here when their Public Health Unit will be allowed to return to the appropriate colour-coded zones used in Return to Play. These dates, set out by the Government of Ontario, may change depending on the trends in local public health indicators.

As a result of this decision, Ontario Soccer has announced that Return to Play (Ontario Soccer RTP Phase 1 – Individualized Training) can commence for York Region, beginning on Feb. 22. However, York Region Public Health has indicated it intends to place additional restrictions on certain activities. Organizations are encouraged to find and contact their local public health unit to determine what activities will be permitted at this time.

Additionally, the Government of Ontario has announced that the shutdown measures and the Stay-at-Home order in Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health and the North Bay-Parry Sound Public Health, will continue to apply until at least Mar. 8, based on key public health indicators and following consultation with the local medical officers of health.

Lambton Public Health will be moving from the Orange-Restrict level to the Red-Control level (Ontario Soccer RTP Phase 1 – Individualized Training) as a result worsening public health trends in the region over the past week. These changes will come into effect on Feb. 22.

As a reminder, in the Public Health Units that are permitted, only Phase 1; Individualized Training (Red), or Phase 2: Group Training and Modified Games (Orange, Yellow, Green) are allowed at this time.

Organizations can follow the Ontario Soccer Decision Making Tree to determine their Public Health Unit, which colour-coded zone their Public Health Unit falls under and then review the Return to Play Guide to understand which activities are permitted in your Public Health Unit.

Ontario Soccer is preparing for the Outdoor Season 2021, in whatever form that Government Public Health protocols will allow, and is encouraging the membership to begin their own Return to Play preparations.

The recent Return to Play survey, conducted by Ontario Soccer, showed that a level of excitement is returning to the game, as 76% of parents stated they plan to register their children to play Outdoor soccer in 2021. In the Spring of 2020, only 30% of parents expressed confidence they would register their children to play Outdoor in 2020.

For those organizations that completed the Return to Play requirements in 2020, you are not required to complete the Canada Soccer Risk Assessment Tool again.  

Organizations should review the updated Return to Play Guide and ensure your Return to Play plan is in alignment with the most current edition of the guide on the Ontario Soccer website.

Organizations are reminded, that to take advantage of the Supporting Ontario's Recovery Act, 2020, which provides liability protection for workers, volunteers and organizations that make an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and protocols relating to exposure to COVID-19, all participants must be registered in OSCAR, Ontario Soccer’s official Club and Academy Registry. 

Registration is a mandatory requirement and ensures all participants have Accident and Liability Insurance coverage, as well as protection under the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act.

For organizations that did not complete the requirements for Return to Play in 2020, you are now required to do so, prior to engaging in Return to Play activities in 2021.

Please follow the steps below to prepare for Return to Play 2021.

1. All affiliated Clubs and Academies must read and understand Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide (the plan) – Protocols and Recommendations document.

2. All affiliated Clubs and Academies must prepare their own Return to Play Plans for use within their membership. Use of Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide (the plan) is encouraged.

3. All affiliated Clubs and Academies must complete Canada Soccer’s Risk Assessment Tool. Please do not complete this tool until you have completed step 2 above. Please ensure only one person from your Club or Academy completes the online assessment. Do not forward or share the online link tool with others.

The Canada Soccer Online Risk Assessment Tool can be found here.

If you have any issues with the link provided please contact Patty Forbes, Director, Administration.

Ontario Soccer will host another Return to Play webinar, focused on refreshing and updating organizations on the requirements for Return to Play and answering any questions you might have.

Click here to register for a webinar to discuss the Return to Play process and an update on the recent announcements. It will take place February 25 at 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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