Community centres and recreational facilities across the Lower Mainland have begun suspending group physical activities, in the wake of a new public health order meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
British Columbia has seen an alarming spike in new cases of the virus in recent weeks, with the majority in the Fraser Health region and to a lesser extent, the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
Over the weekend cities including, Surrey, Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam sent out bulletins advising that group activities had been paused.
Those activities include, among others:
- Spin classes
- Yoga classes
- Group fitness
- Dance classes
- Any other indoor group physical activity that increases the respiratory rate
City facilities have also suspended team play of sports where physical distancing can not be maintained, such as hockey, basketball, pickleball and volleyball, among others.
Spectators are also banned.
Per advice from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, those sports can be replaced by individual physical activity.
In the City of Vancouver’s case, for example, facilities will permit “physically distanced, individual exercise, practice, and drills.”
Outdoor group sports may continue, but without spectators.
Individuals are advised to check with their team for specific details.
The new order does not affect individual indoor physical activities, so long as they follow pre-existing, approved safety protocols. That includes one-on-one personal training in fitness centres, public swimming and skating.
The temporary order covers the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions, with the exception of the Central Coast, Bella Coola, Hope and Sunshine Coast Regional District.