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BC Extends Restrictions on Sport, Gatherings & Events – Feb 5th

British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced on February 5th that the current province-wide public health orders on events and gatherings, including those pertaining to sports, will be extended until further notice.

With no definite end date attached to the current restrictions, the PHO will be closely monitoring transmission rates and progress on the immunization program in BC over the next several weeks with the hope of seeing a continual decline in case numbers. Dr. Henry alluded to a possible resumption of youth sport, faith services, and moderate social interactions such as a ‘safe six bubble’ towards the end of the month if all continues to go well over the next while.

In the meantime, the following restrictions are still in place for all sports activities in BC including,

  • “Adult team sport” refined with respect to “group sport”: Group sport is defined as sporting activities involving more than one person 22 years of age and older and includes training and practice for an individual or a team sport, but does not include sport activities for children or youth, varsity sport or high-performance athlete sport activities.
    • While indoor and outdoor team sports for people 22 years of age and older are restricted, some activities are permitted with a reduced number of participants.
      • For Adult Indoor Sports: only two persons participate (e.g. an athlete and a coach training session);
      • For Adult Outdoor Sports: only four persons participate (e.g. four individuals may cycle together)
      • Participants must maintain a distance of three (3) metres from one another while engaged in the group sport, unless the participants reside in the same private residence.
  • Travel to home club: Individuals are permitted to travel to their home club for the purpose of sport, while following all restrictions in the current public health order.
    • Home club is defined as the sport organization, club, or facility at which a person is registered for ongoing sport programming.
    • Individuals should not carpool with other participants who are not in their household.
  • High performance exemption: High performance athletes are individuals who have been identified to a targeted athlete list with the Canadian Sport Institute-Pacific (CSI-P) by their respective Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) or National Sport Organization (NSO).
    • A person who is a high-performance athlete who is already training in B.C. may train, compete and travel for that purpose if they follow the COVID safety protocols of their respective provincial or national sport organization.
  • Sport for children and youth means an activity which is delivered by a provincial sport organization or a local sport organization and may include participants who are under 22 years of age, but does not include varsity sports. The PHO Order for Events and Gatherings differentiates between adult and youth sport activities.
    • Participants maintain a physical distance of three metres from one another and do not engage in handshaking, high fives, hugging, etc.
    • Participants can only travel to their home club.
    • Children and youth sport may include participants who are under the age of 22.
    • Games, tournaments and competitions are temporarily suspended for teams.
    • The focus is on activities that have a low risk of COVID-19 virus transmission (i.e. can maintain three metres physical distance).
  • Intercollegiate varsity sport exemption: Varsity sport is defined in the order as a sport for which the eligibility requirements for participation are established by a national association for the regulation of intercollegiate athletics, or which is designated as a varsity sport program by a post-secondary institution.
    • Individuals of any age may participate in varsity sport if they are a member of a varsity sport team and they only train or practice with the post-secondary institution with which they are enrolled.
    • Varsity sport, at this time, needs to follow viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines (i.e. maintain three metres physical distance and travel is limited to the athlete’s respective post-secondary institution).

Related links:

BC Province-wide restrictions

BC Provincial Health Order – Gatherings and Events (Dec.24, 2020)

viaSport Updates to Province-wide Restrictions (Dec.28, 2020)

viaSport Return to Sport FAQs (Dec.28, 2020)