Sports are off the table in BC, indefinitely.
The province has put a hold on all adult (19+) indoor and outdoor team sports due to climbing COVID-19 cases, Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Wednesday, December 2. All other indoor group physical activity has also been suspended.
The decision came in step with VIU’s extension of its suspension of athletic activities. The Mariners originally announced a two-week pause on November 17, but said it would evaluate if the suspension needed to continue after November 30.
There is no set date to resume activities, meaning VIU students and athletes may be waiting a while until they can practice with their teams, or continue with group events, like intramurals.
While VIU’s athletics remains on total lockdown, the province’s restrictions are more lenient—if only slightly.
High-intensity group fitness activities at indoor facilities are prohibited, including hot yoga and spin classes, while low-intensity group activities such as pilates, dance classes, and tai chi are temporarily suspended until they can be properly conducted under new safety guidelines, which are expected to be outlined soon.
Conversely, individual workouts and personal training sessions within gyms and recreation facilities are still allowed as long as a COVID-19 Safety Plan is strictly followed. Youth group fitness activities are also still permitted, though under stricter guidelines that were previously in effect.
It’s unfortunate news for VIU athletes. Teams have had to deal with cancellations of national and provincial championships, and now the indefinite suspension of practices into 2021. Students that joined city leagues to stay active, like the Nanaimo United Football Club, saw their activities cancelled too under the new restrictions.
As provincial COVID-19 cases continue to rise, and the strain on the health care system builds, high-risk activities like group athletics are too dangerous, Dr. Bonnie Henry said in the announcement.
“I know these restrictions put an added burden on what is an already difficult time for all of us,” Dr. Henry said. “It seems never-ending, as we’re moving into December, but they are what is required right now.”
The full list of restrictions can be read here.