By Pioneer Staff
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Five cohorts have recently received the green light to start lacing up for the hockey season this spring.

The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) was approved to commence with a limited season this April after the provincial health officer provided a conditionally-approved plan to play.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in countless ways. To keep each other safe, we have had to limit activities that are fundamental to our normal way of life,” said Premier John Horgan in a recent press release. “While we are not out of the woods yet, there is hope on the horizon, and we are now ready to, gradually and safely, resume some of these activities. That includes getting young people back on the ice this season.”

Health screening, limitations on travel, a pre-season quarantine plan and testing for COVID-19 have been put in place in a revised plan from the BCHL with the goal of increasing safety for athletes and mitigating the risk of contracting the novel virus.

There will be ongoing safety protocols in place to limit the number of interactions between athletes, coaches, and staff from the BCHL and those in the communities deemed ready to play.

BCHL has announced that Penticton, Coquitlam, Chilliwack, Vernon and Port Alberni will become the first five cohorts to resume sports through this organization. However, the events and protocols to gather within the league are subject to change based on the latest COVID-19 data and modelling.

“Sports are important for young people’s development, and we understand how hard the time away from friends and teammates has been,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, in a recent press release. “I know that Dr. Henry and her team are working hard to determine how to safely return more leagues back to the field of play this spring.”