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B.C. will not host events larger than 50 people until there is a COVID-19 vaccine, treatment or community immunity

Yet another indication that Ironman Canada is not likely to take place in Penticton this summer.

Yesterday British Columbia officials announced its plan to start reopening its economy. The news wasn’t optimistic for a return to racing any time soon.

Lisa Bentley at Ironman Canada.

As Canadian provinces announce the gradual reopening of society, we learned yesterday that we’re not likely to see racing resume in British Columbia for a while. During a press briefing yesterday, Premier John Horgan outlined the province’s plan to return to a “new normal.”

While gatherings of two to six people will likely be permitted over the next few weeks and provincial parks are expected to open for day use on May 14, “the key is only small gatherings,” Horgan said.

Related: Triathlon postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19

“Groups larger than 50 allow the virus to reemerge, no matter how far apart you are,” he said. “Large gatherings will not be allowed.”

That restriction isn’t likely to end any time soon, either. As he went through the various phases the province will work through, it wasn’t until “Phase 4” that we learned about larger events.

“Phase 4 won’t be enacted until there is a vaccine, treatments for COVID-19 or community immunity has been achieved,” Horgan said. “Until these things happen, B.C. will not be hosting rock concerts, conventions or any other large gatherings beyond 50 people.”

Although there are reports that some companies have already begun human testing of a vaccine, most estimates put the development of a vaccine at least a year away, which means that we’re not likely to see any sort of racing resume in B.C. in 2020.