British Columbia

Some B.C. gyms could open doors this month

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is clarifying when gyms and fitness facilities in B.C. could reopen, after saying last week they likely wouldn't be part of Phase 2, beginning after the May long weekend.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said last week fitness facilities likely wouldn't be part of next phase of recovery

A person walks past a gym closed due to COVID-19 in Vancouver on Friday, March 27, 2020. Gyms in Vancouver and Northern B.C. may begin re-opening under strict conditions after the May long weekend. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is clarifying when gyms and fitness facilities in B.C. could reopen, after saying last week they likely wouldn't be part of Phase 2, beginning after the May long weekend.

Henry now says in two of the five health regions, fitness businesses will be able to start serving customers as part of Phase 2 of the province's COVID-19 recovery plan, if they meet the criteria.

There was never a province-wide order to shut down gyms, but some regions did issue orders until the end of May.

Fraser Health, Interior Health and Island Health all have orders in place, but gyms in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Northern Health regions that voluntarily closed can begin making preparations to reopen, said Henry on Monday.

"People who own gyms and fitness centres can start their process — and they should be doing that already to meet the requirements — and those who can, can look at starting to open starting after the coming long weekend," she said.

But Henry said even smaller facilities need to have proper plans in place and consider the business model to ensure they can keep people adequately separated in time and space.

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday that gyms and fitness facilities in the Interior, Island, and Fraser health regions were prohibited from reopening this month due to orders, but facilities in the other two health regions weren't subject to such orders. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Henry said many have looked at a combination of virtual, outdoor, and small in-person groups at the studios.

She expressed particular caution in the case of gyms, as they've been involved in cases of infection that have occurred in the community.

"These are facilities [where] we have seen transmission of this virus," she said, repeating her comments from the week earlier.

Last week Premier John Horgan announced the phased plan to restart the economy and normal activity in the province. He said the first phase is already happening, but Phase 2, which will include the opening of some provincial parks for day use and the ability of people to make small expansions in their social interactions, will begin mid-month.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now