Editor’s Note, updated April 29th: Upon receiving further clarification from viaSport, the update below has been amended for accuracy and consistency with BC’s current restrictions on non-essential travel. In short, travel to home clubs or high-performance athlete travel that crosses health authority regions is not allowed.
As of Friday, April 23, 2021, the BC Provincial Government announced additional restrictions for non-essential travel in BC, effective until midnight May 25th. You can read the additional restrictions at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/travel/current
What does this mean for Cycling BC members, clubs, and teams?
While some indoor and outdoor group sport activities are currently permitted, such as outdoor adult group rides up to 10 people with 3m distancing, the new restrictions prohibit non-essential travel between BC’s health authorities.
Cycling BC is advising that members, clubs, and teams stay local as much as possible and within their defined health region. The order combines B.C.’s five health authorities into three regions of the province. Travel into and out of the regions for non-essential reasons is currently not allowed and is now prohibited by law.
Furthermore, an update was made to the restrictions surrounding High Performance Athletes training in BC, specifically, the date at which they would have been training in BC. At this time, the provincial guidelines for Gathering and Events under Sport state,
“High performance athletes already training in B.C. as of November 19, 2020 can train, travel and compete together. They must follow the COVID-19 safety protocols of the provincial or national sports organization they are affiliated with.
To qualify as a high-performance athlete, you must be identified by the Canadian Sports Institute Pacific as a high-performance athlete affiliated with an accredited provincial or national sports organization.”
Basically, if you’re a High Performance Athlete you need to have been in BC on or before November 19, 2020, to fall under this exemption. Those who have arrived after November 19th or are planning to travel to BC now to train won’t be included.
While the BC Government’s Province-wide restrictions state an exemption for High Performance Athletes to ‘train, travel and compete’ together, Cycling BC has received clarification from viaSport that this is an exemption under the PHO Order on Gatherings and Events and not a PHO variance (e.g. the BC Hockey League). As a result, high-performance athlete travel that crosses the health authority regions is not allowed.
While the orders do not specifically address every individual situation, when interpreting the orders, it is important to remember that the intention of the orders is to stay local as much as possible and to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
No matter if you are out on an organized ride with a small group or just riding on your own, you are an ambassador for the sport of cycling and are representing the cycling community in the eyes and minds of those around you. Cycling BC thanks you for your cooperation and ongoing commitment to following the guidelines so that we can all continue to enjoy our sport while keeping each other and our communities safe.
GUIDELINES ON INDOOR AND OUTDOOR GROUP SPORT
Games, tournaments and competitions and travel are temporarily suspended for all organized indoor and outdoor sports. For youth 21 years of age and younger:
- Individual drills and modified training activities can continue
- 3 metres physical distance must be maintained at all times
- Amateur sports organizations and leagues may implement additional guidelines to ensure the health and safety of participants
For group sports for people 22 years of age and older, activities can continue if the following conditions are met:
- if the group sport is indoors, only two persons participate;
- if the group sport is outdoors, only ten persons participate;
- the participants maintain a distance of three metres from one another while engaged in the group sport, unless the participants reside in the same private residence;
- there are no spectators, unless the presence of a spectator is necessary in order to provide care to a participant.
HIGH- PERFORMANCE ATHLETES: High Performance athletes already training in B.C. as of November 19, 2020, can train, travel and compete together. They must follow the COVID-19 safety protocols of the provincial or national sports organization they are affiliated with. To qualify as a high-performance athlete, you must be identified by the Canadian Sports Institute Pacific as a high-performance athlete affiliated with an accredited provincial or national sports organization.
For more information on the province-wide restrictions on events and gatherings, please visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions
For more information on the travel restrictions for sports in BC, viaSport has published the following guiding document: viaSport Guidance on travel restrictions for sports in BC (April 2021)