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Too early for White Rock to welcome visitors, says mayor ahead of sunny weekend

Last Updated May 8, 2020 at 1:46 pm PDT

The mayor of White Rock asks visitors from outside the city not to visit just yet. (Courtesy Matt Jarvie)

The mayor of White Rock says people who don't live in the city shouldn't visit

Darryl Walker says it's still too early and the beach should only be for locals

He asks people to stay local and enjoy parks, beaches near them

WHITE ROCK (NEWS 1130) — Despite a hot and sunny forecast this weekend, the mayor of White Rock says now is not the time for people to be visiting from outside the city.

Mayor Darryl Walker says it’s still too early to welcome visitors to White Rock and encourages people outside the city to explore the parks and beaches in their own neighbourhood.

“We ask people to give us an opportunity in our community to work through and heal as every other community is. And when we are ready for you to come back here, and we hope that isn’t too far away, we’ll welcome people back here,” he says.

RELATED: White Rock beach remains open, mayor ‘pleased’ with social distancing

Walker says even with the nice weather and Mother’s Day, the beach is meant for people who actually live in his city.

“Almost all of the parking is closed. That of which is opened is designed for local residents that actually have parking stickers to come down and spend a bit of time at their beach,” he says.

The White Rock Pier and Promenade are still closed in an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19.

For people living in White Rock, the mayor says even though it’s a large beach, physical distancing is vital. He notes the positive news from the province about gradually lifting restrictions soon, but hasn’t changed his expectations.

“Give us an opportunity to allow our folks to enjoy the waterfront without having to worry about large numbers of people,” he says.

While he understands people will want to be out this weekend, Walker still stresses the importance of flattening the curve.

“We want to beat this thing, in my opinion, once, and not have to go back and do it again and again,” Walker says.

He adds RCMP and bylaw officers will be out this weekend ensuring physical distancing measures are being followed.