$2,000 fines to be issued to enforce B.C. COVID-19 public health rules

Anyone caught violating B.C.’s public health order on large gatherings will now face a fine of up to $2,000.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced the move, effective immediately, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

Police and bylaw officers across B.C. will now be able to issue $2,000 tickets to owners and others who are hosting large house parties and unsanctioned events on streets or beaches if there are more than 50 people present.

“Enough is enough,” Farnworth said.

“These actions could cost people their lives and that is why stricter enforcement is necessary.”

In addition, anyone promoting a large event or gathering could be issued a $200 violation ticket.

Anyone refusing to follow safety guidelines or being abusive to employees at a business who are trying to enforce those guidelines could also be issued a $200 ticket.

“Now more than ever, this is a time to be selfless. This is time to tell friends and family that breaking the rules will hurt us all,” Farnworth said.

Now is the time to re-double our efforts to once again flatten the curve, he said, referring to a “small minority of selfish individuals across the province who are putting everyone at risk.”

3:01 B.C. health officials report 200th COVID-19 death, 80 new cases

B.C. health officials report 200th COVID-19 death, 80 new cases

Read more: B.C. records 200th coronavirus death, 80 new cases

On Thursday, B.C. recorded two new deaths, bringing the province’s total to 200. Both were in long-term care in the Fraser Health region.

The province also recorded another 80 cases of COVID-19, with 2,574 people in self-isolation, as new public exposures continue to be announced on a near-daily basis.

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said the number of people in isolation reflects the “type of places where the exposure has occurred.”

“The two notable things about these gatherings are crowding and in some cases alcohol,” she said.

New cases remain driven by younger adults, added Gustafson.

More to come.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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