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B.C. curling championships back on in Kamloops

The championships — scheduled for Jan. 4 to Jan. 9 at the curling clubs on McArthur Island and downtown — were initially cancelled due to being caught in the provincial health order of Dec. 17. They can now proceed
curling
Sam Fisher (left) and Dezaray Hawes sweep for Corryn Brown at the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

The provincial men’s and women’s curling championships in Kamloops are back on.

The championships — scheduled for Jan. 4 to Jan. 9 at the curling clubs on McArthur Island and downtown — were initially cancelled due to being caught in the provincial health order of Dec. 17 that nixed all sports tournaments until at least Jan. 31.

The public health order was implemented in response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in B.C.

However, on the heels of discussions between the province, viaSport and Curl BC, exemptions have been granted so that a number of curling championships can proceed.

Curling BC spokesperson Doug Sarti said the details of rescheduling the tourneys are being worked out.

“Stopping and starting a championship is like stopping and starting an aircraft carrier — it takes a lot of people and it doesn’t happen immediately,” Sarti said in a statement.

“We’re working as swiftly as possible and we will, of course, keep our membership updated on any details.”

Further impacting the situation is the fact the national men’s and women’s curling championships, to which the provincial winners advance, are taking place soon. In fact, the Scotties national women’s tourney is set to take place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 6 in Thunder Bay. . The national men’s curling championship is set for Lethbridge from March 4 to March 13.

While the Kamloops-based championships can now proceed, there are a number of conditions under which they will be held.

There will be a 50 percent spectator capacity and competitors and attendees must be fully vaccinated. 

For curling clubs with food and beverage service, there are specific new restrictions. Only those with full meal service will be permitted to operate lounges, while clubs with a liquor-only licences will need to close their bars until the expiration of the order. 

For clubs with meal service, there will be a maximum of six people per table, with no mingling between tables.

Physical distancing or barriers must be maintained between tables, there is to be no dancing and mask use when not seated must be enforced.

 For vaccine status checks, simple visual confirmation will no longer suffice. All QR codes must now be run through the provincial vaccine verification app (downloadable here).

The championships were set to be played in Kamloops in January of 2021, but were axed then due to the pandemic.