British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has amended her events and gatherings order to include a full suspension of adult team sports and an indefinite suspension on high-intensity group fitness activities.
By Thursday, the updated health and safety orders indicated all adult indoor and outdoor team sports have been suspended. Those over 19-year-old participating in the following team sports are asked to halt their activities immediately:
- Combat sports
- Floor hockey
- Floor ringette
- Road hockey
- Ice hockey
- Martial arts
- Team skating
- Indoor bowling
- Lawn bowling
"A number of these adult team sports are really social gatherings as much as sports. And, unfortunately, those types of events are leading to transmission," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry Thursday afternoon.
Henry said she amended the order after acting on advice from her team across the province, but that in the case of youth sports, transmission rates had not reached the same levels as in adult team sports.
Those involved in team sports who are under 19-year-old are required to follow the viaSport's Return to Sport Phase 2 guidance, which stipulates how to maintain physical distance for participants. Tournaments and competitions are temporarily suspended, though individual drills and other, modified training activities can continue.
Under all circumstances, teams are not to travel between communities.
“High performance and professional athletes, as well as professional performers like dancers are not included in the order, according to a Government of B.C.
Team sports aren't the only physical activity facing an extended hiatus.
Anyone offering such activities as hot yoga, spin classes, bootcamp, circuit training, aerobics, and high-intensity interval training will are included in the indefinite suspension.
“High-intensity fitness activities cause a sustained and accelerated rate of breathing and may involve close contact with other people,” note an updated outline of restrictions from the provincial government.
The ban on other low-intensity group fitness activities — including yoga, pilates, light weightlifting, adult dance class or adult dance classes — will be revisited when the current order expires Dec. 7, Henry said Wednesday.
Henry added that her team is drawing up new guidelines, which are expected to be released next week, that will prioritize structured programming for children’s sports.
Currently, structured extracurricular activities for those under 19-years-old can continue with a proper COVID-19 safety plan and adult supervision. That includes educational programs, music, art, dance, drama, outdoor fitness and social activities.
In the meantime, Henry reiterated all events are prohibited across the province, including seasonal light displays, drive-in and drive-thru events and spectator to any sporting events.