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B.C. government again mandates closures of gyms, yoga studios, bar and clubs

 | December 22, 2021
Fitness businesses have been mandated to close and then reopened several times throughout the pandemic. Photo by Zuzy Rocka.

Sun Peaks Yoga will be shifting back online after the B.C. government announced more COVID-19 restrictions this week, including closing gyms, fitness centres and yoga studios. Alpine Fitness, located in the Sun Peaks Centre, has also been forced to close until Jan. 18. Pubs and restaurants in Sun Peaks will continue operating using the BC vaccine passports and other restrictions, as there are no liquor primary establishments in the village. 

Kayla Alfred, owner of Sun Peaks Yoga, said she thought the worst had passed and did not expect to be shut down again. Fitness businesses have been mandated to close and then reopened several times throughout the pandemic, and most recently were operating under provincial capacity restrictions. 

“It’s just devastating honestly,” said Alfred. “We were really trying to build back our community and be in the studio and get our schedule back going.”

Alfred said she recalled a time in early November when she had 17 people show up to one of her classes, and she felt so excited that the situation was returning to normal.

“I just was so overcome with this relief of wow, we made it through the pandemic. Look at all these people who are here to do yoga in person,” said Alfred. “It was a huge moment for me. And now we have to start all over again.”

Sun Peaks Yoga had many events and classes prepared for the new year and Alfred said she was hoping to relax over the holidays, but now has to focus on changing the structure of the studio. Thankfully, she had a lot already in place for the online format and will be able to go back to live streaming.

“I’m just going to do most of the classes myself because I can’t really afford to pay my teachers on the schedule that I had if I don’t have people in person,” she said.

Alfred said she is concerned about going back to live streaming because many people in Sun Peaks do not have a strong enough internet connection to keep up with the video. To help, Alfred’s husband has been editing some previously recorded classes, which can be watched anytime.

“I’ve just been trying to figure out ways to bring it online and just always looking for the positives and ways to keep it going,” said Alfred. “If nothing else, the pandemic has pushed us to grow and adapt.”

The latest restrictions are in response to rising COVID-19 positive cases, driven by the new Omicron variant. Venues such as cinemas, theatres and sports arenas have been reduced to 50 per cent capacity, and organized indoor gatherings such as weddings and Christmas parties are banned.

113 new cases were confirmed in Interior Health today. Sun Peaks Resort LLP announced a single positive case among its employees Wednesday, Dec. 22.

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