BC lifts restrictions on low-intensity indoor group exercise

Dec 15 2020, 4:55 pm

While provincial restrictions around most indoor activities remain in effect, BC health officials have lifted restrictions on certain indoor group exercises they define as “low-intensity.”

An updated order from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) posted on Tuesday states “indoor group low intensity exercise may resume with an updated COVID-19 Safety Plan,” which must be posted in a place where it can be easily seen by participants.

According to the updated guidelines, permitted activities now include:

  • Barre (lower-intensity classes)
  • Exercise machines/cardio equipment (low intensity)
  • Light weightlifting
  • Pilates (lower-intensity classes)
  • Stretching
  • Tai-Chi
  • Yoga (hatha)

The order notes that the list is not exhaustive and that gym, studio, and fitness centre operators should use their discretion to determine what category their group exercise classes fall into, based on the examples.

In mid-November, BC health officials suspended the operation of what they called “high-risk” indoor group physical activities, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said high-intensity interval training (HIIT), hot yoga, and indoor spin classes would be stopped until further notice. The suspension applies to all businesses, recreational centres, and other organizations that organize or operate the activities.

Then, earlier this month, Henry announced that all indoor and outdoor adult team sports were banned in BC until further notice as well, in an effort to further slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.