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PHO Update

Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave

As we enter into year two of COVID-19 and still have skeptics or naysayers in the world wondering if this was the Easter Rabbit that arrived early forgetting to leave but managing to put our lives on hold for far too long.

No one minds a holiday, but this extension is one that no one wanted let alone expected and given the long term effects on society the world problems have taken a toll on everyone from our youth to our seniors.

Each Provincial Government is working diligently to get a “handle of this” but it’s been at a cost to everyone while in British Columbia ViaSport are working to get us back to sporting fields.

In keeping with our regular updates, I received the following and want to share it with the general public for your reading, so please don’t skip over it.

Enjoy the read:  

The arrival of spring means a new group of sports and leagues are getting underway. viaSport is committed to keeping the B.C. sport community informed and safe, which means staying aware of current province-wide restrictions on sport activities.

Adult outdoor sport

March 12, there was a change to the Provincial Health Office Order on Gatherings and Events that affects adult outdoor sport. 

Group sport activities like training and drills are now permitted for adults 22 and older, provided they meet the following conditions:

1) If the group sport is indoors, only two persons participate (no change)

2) If the group sport is outdoors, only ten persons participate (increased from four people)

3) 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 (no change);

4) There are no spectators, unless the presence of a spectator is necessary in order to provide care to a participant (no change).

All other restrictions on indoor activities remain in place and there are no changes for youth sport. 

This change for adult sport aligns with the loosening of restrictions announced on Friday

March 12 in the Order on Gatherings and Events allowing 10 people to gather outdoors while maintaining other layers of protection.

Spring travel

As we all work to stay active and up-to-date, viaSport and BC Recreation and Parks Association would like to provide clarity and a reminder around travel and the intention of the Order.

  • Under current restrictions on travel for sport, participants can travel to their home club, even if it is outside their immediate community.
  •  Home club is defined by the PHO as the sport organization, club, or facility at which a person is registered for ongoing sport programming. For example: 
    • a skier who is part of the local ski club can travel to their local mountain, which might cross a regional health authority border;
    • an archer may need to travel to a neighbouring community because their community does not have an archery club;
    • a high-performance athlete may need to travel to a nearby community to receive specialized training
  • Although there is some flexibility to allow for participants to travel short distances to reach a home club, the intention of the Order is to minimize travel for sport activities, and to stay close to home. For example: 
    • participants from Vancouver Island should not travel to the Lower Mainland, from the Kootenays to the Okanagan, or from the North to Okanagan.

The Public Health Order does not specifically address every individual situation. 

When interpreting the Order, please remember the intention of the Order is important. 

That intention is to stay local as much as possible. 

This will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and keep sports safe.