COVID-19 has grounded the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

In a statement, Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French said the Snowbirds won’t be training at 19 Wing Comox next month due to ongoing travel restrictions.

French, who is the Commanding Officer of 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron, said the health and safety of the team members and public was the reason behind the decision.

“We know the arrival of the team in the Comox Valley is a sure sign of spring and we regret we won’t get to take part in our annual migration west,” French said.

“However, the health and safety of all Canadians is the most important thing right now.”

The team is on pause from flying at its home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan to maintain physical distancing practices. 

While the hiatus will affect the Snowbirds 2020 season, the full effect is not clear.

The Snowbirds are made up of roughly 80 Canadian Armed Forces members, including 24 who had planned to travel to 30 locations across Canada and the United States for the 2020 season.  

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds fly the CT-114 Tutor aircraft, that was designed and built in Canada by Canadair as the Canadian Armed Forces primary jet trainer, until it was replaced by the CT-155 Hawk and CT-156 Harvard II in 2000.