Halifax’s largest skating rink, the Emera Oval, will permit 300 people to skate at once, beginning on Monday.
Skaters will be permitted to book up to one hour of ice time.
Previously, skating on the Oval was limited to 240 participants. This number has been steadily increasing since Jan. 4, when only 90 skaters were allowed on the Oval at once.
“In a regular season, the Oval could receive approximately 10,000 to 11,500 skaters per week,” a spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Municipality wrote in an email. “With the current restrictions due to COVID-19, capacity has been limited to ensure the safety of skaters and staff.”
As of Feb. 11, there are 11 active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
Non-medical masks must be worn at all times, including on the ice.
For parents hoping to skate with children 12 and under, the HRM website warns that they must wear CSA-approved multi-impact hockey helmets. Though helmets are also recommended for skaters of all ages.
There are a limited number of skates and helmets available on loan for free at the Oval. A valid photo government ID, such as a driver’s licence or a photo card, is required to borrow equipment.
Skaters must pre-register online before skating on the Oval. They can register up to 48 hours in advance of their desired skate time. They can arrive up to 30 minutes ahead of their skate time to check in, but the city says to expect delays.
The Emera Oval is “the largest outdoor artificially refrigerated ice surface in the Maritimes” and about three times the size of a standard NHL hockey rink. It requires 250,000 litres of water to fill in, and can accommodate up to 1,500 skaters at once.
About the author
Kunal Chaudhary is a reporter with The Signal based in Toronto, Ontario.