Social distancing circles have officially arrived in Ottawa. After a “hundreds” of people gathered at Mooney’s Bay this week, the City has made moves to ensure that locals can still enjoy the beach, while maintaining a physical distance. Ottawa’s social distancing circles are already in place, and the photos look pretty strange!

If you visited Mooney’s Bay this weekend, you may have noticed something a little different.

As of Friday, May 29, the beach has a number of physical distancing circles painted on the floor, in order to remind locals to stay two metres away from each other wherever possible.

In a statement on its website, the City of Ottawa said that the large circles are there to “help people who are sitting and having a picnic at the park to remain at a safe two-metre distance from other park-goers.”

“You simply enter an unoccupied circle, lay out your blanket or pop-up your lawn chair, and catch some rays or a nice breeze coming off the Rideau River,” the notice explained.

According to CTV News, the move comes after the beach was packed with “hundreds” of people this week, who were out at the beach enjoying the hot and sunny weather.

It follows similar decisions made in cities like New York and San Francisco, as well as Toronto.

The circles first came to Canada following an extremely busy weekend at Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods Park, when an estimated 10,000 people gathered without practicing social distancing.

While the City of Toronto has laid out exactly what the rules are when it comes to social distancing circles, Ottawa is yet to confirm their own protocol.

In a tweet on Sunday, Ottawa By-law confirmed that additional officers would be stationed in areas such as Mooney's Bay and Britannia Beach over the coming days, to ensure that people continue to follow the rules.


“It’s a great way to provide added safety to you, and not leave you wondering if the person behind or beside you is at a safe physical distance,” the City of Ottawa added.

"It’s not your normal summer, but you can still enjoy the outdoors – while doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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