Phase 2 of B.C’s Restart Plan includes recreation and sports, but in order to re-open, they must follow enhanced protocols.

The City of Nelson announced that they have developed a Relaunch Strategy in partnership with viaSport based on Provincial Guidelines.

“Over the past few months, City sports fields have been operating on a casual basis and have not been permitted to host organized activities,” the City said in their June 18, 2020 release. “Based on the Provincial Health Officer and viaSport Guidelines, the City is currently looking to re-open sports fields for booking by user groups for training and non-contact sports activities.”

Before we lace our cleats, the Provincial Health Officer must approve competitive activities or contact sports. Though on the horiizon, it hasn’t happened yet and no details as to when it will have been shared.

When the province is ready to return to sport however, a plan is set in place to keep athletes of all ages healthy and safe.

To be eligible for field use, sports activities must meet the following requirements:

  1. Participants must maintain physical distancing – Non-contact sports only permitted
  2. Touch points must be reduced with respect to equipment
  3. Focus on skill development or low-risk activities
  4. Remain community focused- avoid travel to other communities

To facilitate the safe re-opening of these spaces, the City has implemented a procedure for all user groups.

If you are a user group of a City of Nelson sports field or park, you are required to provide a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which must be approved by the City prior to your group being eligible to book the area.

Steps to follow:

  1. Adopt your Provincial Sport Organization Safety Guidelines or those of a similar sport.
  2. Develop an organization/site-specific COVID-19 Safety Plan that adheres to guidelines provided by your Provincial Sport Organization, or a similar sport’s organization. This plan must cover all aspects of the activities, including all roles of volunteers or paid individuals, as well as the general management of the sport itself. This plan will need to be reviewed and updated as required based on restrictions or changes required by the Provincial Health Officer.
  3. Provide the City with your COVID-19 Safety Plan for review and approval.
  4. The City of Nelson Corporate Safety Department will review your plan for compliance and request revisions or additions where necessary.
  5. Once the final version is approved, you will be eligible to book City fields/parks through the RDCK on the designated booking availability date.
  6. Facility Use Agreements and COVID-19 Addendum to Facility Use Agreement/License must be completed and provided to the RDCK before use of the booked fields.
  7. User groups must ensure all participants or parents/guardians of participants have signed a COVID-19 Assumption of Risk & Permission Form, and must keep these on file.
  8. Safety Plans must be kept on-site and be readily available for viewing at all times.

Please keep in mind that user group status may be revoked at any time if COVID-19 Safety Plans are not adhered to.

 

Meanwhile, other city recreation spaces, including tennis and pickleball courts, disc golf, skate park, bike park and basketball courts, are open for casual use only and are not available to book.

The City defines ‘casual use’  as occasional use by individuals or small groups from the same household or social bubble. No organized activities are permitted in those areas.