Province orders temporary closure of all indoor group fitness activities



The province of British Columbia has issued an order for the temporary closure of all indoor group fitness activities amid the current wave of COVID-19.

Venues that organize or operate indoor group types of physical activity should temporarily suspend them while new guidelines are developed, according to provincial health officials.

This is an improvement in the restrictions, which were announced and implemented last week by Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

On November 19, health officials put a hiatus on businesses, recreation centers or other organizations that organize or operate high-risk indoor group physical activities, including spin classes, hot yoga, and high intensity interval training.

As of Tuesday, November 24, the temporary suspension is extended to include gymnastics, dance studios, martial arts, yoga, pilates, strength and conditioning, and cheerleading.

The province said it is currently working on new fitness guidelines and more information should be available this week.

Once the new information becomes available, provincial health officials say sites should use the new guidelines to update and republish their COVID-19 security plan before resuming operations.

Gyms and recreational facilities that offer individual workouts and personal training sessions can remain open as long as they have a COVID-19 safety plan that is strictly followed, the province adds.

The B.C. government is reminding businesses that close due to COVID-19 restrictions that they may be eligible for rent assistance of up to 90% from the federal government.

The initial group fitness restrictions, announced on November 19, were to remain in place until at least December 7.

In addition to the fitness restrictions, Dr Henry and Minister Dix demanded that masks be worn in all indoor public spaces and that social gatherings be limited to immediate members of the household.

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