viaSport Guidance on Travel Restrictions for Sports in BC – April 2021

Courtesy viaSport

The arrival of spring means a new group of sports and leagues are getting underway. The following reminders apply to anyone conducting or participating in sport activities in British Columbia.

  • Without exception, all sport activities must follow the directives listed in the PHO Order on Gatherings and Events
  • As of November 2020, travel for children and youth sport or adult group sport is not permitted
  • This means that teams and groups of participants can only travel to their home club and that club needs to be close to the participants’ residence.
  • Travel that is not allowed includes:
    • a hockey player travelling from Vernon to Penticton to participate on their spring hockey team;
    • a softball player travelling from Kamloops to Vancouver to participate on their rep team;
    • a dancer travelling from Langley to Whistler to participate in a virtual competition.
  • Although most sport should be played within the participant’s community, there are some examples where an individual can travel short distances. For example:
    • a skier who is part of the local ski club can travel to their local mountain, which might be in a neighbouring community;
    • 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.
  • To minimize potential exposures to COVID-19, mandatory physical distancing and other restrictions are in place for all sport activities, including training and practice. All games, tournaments, league play and other competitions are on hold until further notice.
  • There may have been some uncertainty about which phase of the viaSport Return to Sport Guidelines we are currently in, leading to some sport organizations continuing to plan for competitive activities this spring. The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has confirmed that under the current Provincial Health Order, there should be no competition and no travel for sport.
  • The PHO’s guidance on travel for sport is directed at all sport delivery organizations, including, but not limited to, not-for-profit, for profit, education institutions and sport camps
  • Following the directives in the current Gathering and Events Order is not optional. Sport organizations that are in breach in of this policy may be subject to enforcement measures such as fines or loss of business licenses. These policies are in play in order to maintain the health and safety of our communities

As a reminder:

  • Under current restrictions, within a home club setting, training and practice for youth age 21 and under may continue, as long as:
    • participants maintain a physical distance of three metres from one another (no handshaking, high fives, hugging, etc.);
    • the focus is on activities that have a low risk of COVID-19 virus transmission;
    • there are no spectators present, unless to provide care (i.e. first aid) to a participant
  • The Provincial 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.
  • Please refer to this link for further details on travel and sport from the PHO: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions