All indoor adult team sports are now prohibited in B.C. and children’s programs have returned to earlier, more restrictive guidelines in response to the unchecked spread of COVID-19.
The new restrictions were announced on Wednesday after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the activities are too dangerous when B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload is continuing to grow rapidly and hospitalizations are reaching record levels.
“We continue to see that indoor group activities — whether for fitness or team sports — are much higher risk right now,” Henry said in a written statement.
She said the new ban on indoor adult sports “includes basketball, cheerleading, combat sports, martial arts, floor hockey, floor ringette, ice hockey, ringette, netball, skating, soccer, squash and volleyball.”
Sports programs for children will have to return to more restrictive measure first implemented earlier this year, which include keeping a distance of two metres from other people, small groups, no spectators, modified games and no travel.
The news comes after Henry revealed that an old timers’ hockey team from the Interior recently travelled to Alberta for games, in defiance of a public health order.
Some team members came back with COVID-19 and exposed their family members and co-workers, leading to “several dozen” new cases in the community, Henry said.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Henry expanded the list of indoor group fitness activities that are considered high intensity and high risk.
Aerobics, boot camps, dance classes and dance fitness and circuit training are now prohibited, along with hot yoga, spin classes and high-intensity interval training.
Lower intensity activities like yoga, Pilates, tai chi and individual fitness are currently suspended until new safety guidelines are released. Henry said those guidelines are expected next week.