LAKESHORE, ONT. -- Residents in Lakeshore will be able to hit the beach and get outside in time for the long weekend.

Mayor Tom Bain tells CTV News staff made the decision to reopen West Beach Friday, less than one week after the municipality erected a fence blocking the beach.

At the time, officials said complaints of large gatherings at the beach were being made.

Bain says physical distancing and limited numbers are strongly encouraged. Bain also notes that OPP will be present throughout the Victoria day long weekend.

In addition to the beach, the municipality has opted to reopen some other outdoor amenities with restrictions in place.

Baseball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball courts and skate parks will be open but organized sports and recreational classed are not permitted. Users of the newly reopen amenities must maintain social gathering rules laid out by the province.

The municipality says work is underway to remove locks and signs from amenities that had been gated and closed.

The Ontario government announced on Thursday it would be permitting the reopening of certain outdoor facilities as well as opening up outdoor gatherings to up to five people starting Saturday.

“If enforcement officers become aware of large gatherings at the West Beach or other municipal parks in contravention of the Provincial orders, these amenities may be closed for public safety reasons,” a Lakeshore news release says.

The Belle River Marina will reopen Saturday subject to restrictions and the boat launches in Belle River and at the Lighthouse Cove Government Dock will remain open.

“Please be mindful that many residents are interested in using the outdoor amenities and overcrowding can prevent the safe use of the amenities in accordance with the provincial orders,” the municipality says. “We ask that residents do their part to maintain physical distancing and be respectful of others.”

Meantime, Colchester Beach in Essex continues to remain fenced off to beach goers.

Last year, the municipality temporarily closed the beach on Jun 23 after a weekend that saw hundreds of people crowd the Lake Erie destination.

“We have it all clean, we have it all ready, we’re just waiting for the province to give us the green light,” says councillor Sherry Bondy.

She says there is some confusion swirling across the region when it comes to the reopening of public beaches, after the province left it up to municipal decision makers.

“We have to play it safe. We have to follow the rules and we have to hopefully really soon we can open this beach again,” Bondy says.

She tells CTV News other municipal amenities like splash pads have reopened, but the beach will stay closed for the time being, to the chagrin to some.

“It’s hot! People want to use it, so what do you do? You can use the splash pad, you can still get outdoors. There’s still a lot of things you can do in every municipality but we have to wait a little bit longer to lay on the sand.” Bondy adds, “we’re just following the provincial rules. If people want to call somebody and complain you need to call your provincial representatives.”

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit urges people who do go to the beach this weekend to practice social distancing and remain within your household group.

“We know the outdoor is safer than the indoor environment,” explained medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed, “While we still have ongoing transmission we have to be careful. I think that’s my only message. I want people to enjoy the outdoors but I also want them to do it safely and with their own family members.”