Certain fitness centres are open for youth in BC, so why not for adults?

Jan 12 2022, 10:58 pm

Many BC residents are hoping for gyms and fitness centres to reopen soon, with restrictions scheduled to be dropped on January 18.

However, youth aged 13 to 18 got some good news when the Vancouver Park Board tweeted Tuesday that certain Vancouver fitness centres are open for people in that age group.

So why the distinction? Are youth aged 13 to 18 less likely to contract the Omicron variant? Are there special measures in place at these specifically designated fitness centres?

It isn’t entirely clear.

According to the City of Vancouver website, fitness centres reopened for youth aged 13 to 18 on January 7.

“The most recent Public Health Order (PHO) allows youth access fitness centres. We’ve opened select fitness centres for youth (ages 13 to 18) access only for supervised drop-in sessions.”

The Vancouver Park Board suggested the change took place on January 10.

There doesn’t seem to be a news release from the BC government indicating anything specific about youth access fitness centres, or indicating that there is a lesser risk of contracting Omicron among youth populations.

The City of Vancouver sent Daily Hive a link to where the distinction was made, and it can be seen on a BC government website about restrictions in the province.

It states that “adult indoor individual and group fitness or exercise activities are not allowed.”

Those activities include:

  • Working out at a gym
  • Participating in low or high intensity group exercise or fitness classes, including yoga, barre, CrossFit, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and weight training
  • Participating in dance classes at a dance studio

They go onto state that fitness activities that can continue include:

  • Programs specifically for children and youth
  • Activities that take place in swimming pools (at 50% capacity)
  • Training for high performance athletes (in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols)

Why this distinction exists is a mystery. While Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has regularly stated that youth and children are at a lesser risk of contracting COVID, the Omicron variant of concern is much more transmissible, and is leading the current spike in cases and hospitalizations.

Daily Hive has reached out to the BC Ministry of Health for answers.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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