Updates have been made to the restrictions announced in the written provincial Health Order on Gatherings and Events. These updates apply to all sport activities in B.C.
Five key points have been further clarified and are now included, and more information is available on the government website here. Clarifications include:
- “Adult team sport” revised to “group sport”: Group sport is defined as sporting activities involving more than one person and includes training and practice for an individual or a team sport, but does not include sport for children or youth, varsity sport or high-performance athlete sport. Group sport (i.e. sport for those 22 years of age or older) is only permitted in groups of up to two people (e.g. singles tennis or an athlete and a coach training session). Outdoor group sport is only permitted in groups of up to four people (e.g. four individuals may run together or four individuals could run soccer drills). All participants must maintain a distance of three metres from one another while participating in the sport activity. While this order provides clarity, it is important to remember the intent is to limit group gathering. For example, individuals should not be playing a sport with four people and then switching teams to another group of four during the same time slot.
- Travel to home club: Individuals are permitted to travel to their home club for the purpose of sport. 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.
- High performance exemption: High performance athletes are individuals who have been identified to a targeted athlete list with the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific by their respective Provincial Sport Organization or National Sport Organization. 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.
- 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 the athlete’s respective post-secondary institution).
As a reminder, this PHO Order is in place until January 8, 2021, at which time government officials will determine if extensions or changes are required based on COVID-19 transmission data. Reducing interactions will help keep communities safe and healthy and lower the risk to our health care system. It is a good idea to review the most recent FAQ.