December 3, 2020 (Vancouver, BC) – BC Rugby has announced that all sanctioned in-person rugby activities are suspended in response to the published Public Health Order which suspends all indoor and outdoor sports for people 19 years of age and older and reverts all indoor and outdoor sports for minors to viaSport’s Return to Sport Phase 2 guidelines.
With just three weeks until Christmas Eve, many Clubs were in their final few weeks of programming and the slide back to Phase 2 for minors would mean Clubs would have to reduce the number of players that could attend programming as well as adapt to the Order which has expanded the physical distancing required from two metres to three metres.
“Rugby has worked extremely hard to design and implement robust COVID Safety Plans as well as adopting non-contact variations of our sport to reduce the risk rugby poses to the community,” said BC Rugby CEO, Annabel Kehoe. “This suspension continues our cautious approach, as well as supports all those volunteers that have done a remarkable job to keep our sport in compliance with these rapidly changing Orders, and give rugby families confidence of having a safe, yet small, holiday celebration given the extraordinarily difficult year we’ve all endured.”
While BC Rugby has reported several rugby participants receiving positive test results for COVID-19 covering three of the five Health Authorities, there has been no indication that the individuals contracted the virus within rugby activities, or any community transmission has occurred.
Allen Vansen, CEO of Rugby Canada said, “Rugby Canada supports the difficult decision by BC Rugby to suspend sanctioned rugby activities in response to the recent Public Health Order issued by the Province of BC. My thanks to BC Rugby, all the clubs in BC, and the hundreds of volunteers for their diligence in navigating the return to play of rugby in BC. We look forward to a time in 2021 when we can return safely to the pitch.”
Sanctioned Rugby Clubs will be able to resume in-person rugby activities on January 4, 2021, pending Public Health Orders and the return to viaSport’s Return to Sport Phase 3 guidelines.