SKABC COVID-19 Protocols and Vaccination Requirements

Date: December 12, 2021

Participants in SKABC events that are held in-person are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID 19. Proof of vaccination may be required.

The definition of "fully vaccinated" will be based on whatever standard for entry into non-essential places of business, such as restaurants, is in place in BC at the time of the event.

SKABC will conduct activities in accordance with BC Provincial Guidelines. These guidelines are subject to change and this may result in updates to the SKABC protocols. If club activities are allowed, each trip leader / instructor / event leader must determine if their activity can be conducted safely within the protocols outlined below. (Club members planning their own trips will also find these useful.) If a SKABC activity cannot be conducted safely by following the protocols it should be cancelled.  

NOTE: In British Columbia, under the Emergency Program Act (M183), sports organizations and organizers cannot be sued if someone contracts or transmits COVID-19 as a result of their participation, as long as those activities are following provincial pandemic guidelines

In addition to provincial pandemic guidelines, here are some ideas and precautions designed to facilitate planning and help to protect all members of SKABC.

Planning Protocols for Trips, Courses, and Club Events 

The below guidelines were adapted (with thanks) from the Pacific International Kayak Association in 2020. Stay tuned for updates in February 2022. 

When deciding where to paddle:

  • Pick waterways/launches that can accommodate physical distancing;
  • Choose sites that aren’t too busy or crowded (including for the proposed return);
  • Pick a site with enough parking to accommodate higher car usage;
  • Check BC Parks, Metro Vancouver Parks, Parks Canada, BC Hydro recreation sites, or the local regional authority to see if the area you want to visit is open or closed;
  • Consider available facilities along the travel route and at launch site—public restrooms may not be available;
  • If you're organizing an activity, keep track of participant replies to the club’s health questionnaire (which will be sent as an automated reminder email) 2 to 3 days before the activity. Confirm that each participant is vaccinated. Also confirm that no one has answered “Yes” to any of the risk questions. If they have, they cannot participate in the activity. Do not facilitate or take part if you have any symptoms of a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or COVID-19. Please ask all participants to be proactive and disqualify themselves, if in doubt, rather than putting the onus on the organizer.
  • Print out the questionnaire and contact list in preparation for the day of the event.

In addition to the above, leaders and instructors are asked to review the Guidelines for Leaders and Instructors During COVID.

Event Day Protocols

  • At the beginning of any in-person SKABC event, the organizer, trip leader or instructor must ensure that participants fill out the questionnaire and contact list and confirm that no one has answered “yes” to any of the COVID-19 risk questions. They must also confirm that each participant is fully vaccinated.
  • Depending on current provincial guidelines, wearing a mask while on land may or may not be required. However, please note that wearing a mask while on the water can be a safety hazard and is not encouraged.
  • Maximum group size is limited by provincial guidelines. Be sure to include any leaders or instructors when determining the size of your group.
  • Do not participate if you have any symptoms of a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or COVID-19.
  • Carpooling is not recommended. If you do choose to carpool, consider wearing masks in the car.
  • No handshakes or hugs at this time please. 
  • Don't touch each other's gear or kayaks without prior permission.
  • Be careful if helping someone else with their kayak - unloading, carrying, etc.
  • Consider using hand sanitizer after helping to carry/load/unload someone's boat.
  • Make sure your foot pedals or foot braces are set for the length of your legs before launching. It’s pretty much impossible for someone to help you adjust them on the water and follow even basic COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Remember to stay at least 2 metres apart, including when you stop for lunch. On overnight trips please position cooking stations 2 metres apart.
  • Don't go out in rougher waters than you (or any other party member) are comfortable with. If you end up needing assistance to do a re-entry, help with first aid or help from search and rescue, you will be putting others at risk. Please take extra care to consider the needs and skill level of each participant.
  • Be sure that you can re-enter your kayak unassisted so that an assisted re-entry is not necessary.

If you have any questions or suggestions for improvements for these guidelines, please contact

Additional resources:

Guidelines for Leaders and Instructors During COVID

Health and Safety Questionnaire

Trip Planning