VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Parking lots at Vancouver beaches and parks will remain closed because some people aren’t obeying physical distancing rules, according to the park board.
Parking lots were closed in March by the Vancouver Park Board in response to the pandemic and to prevent large groups of people from gathering at places such as Kits Beach, Jericho Beach, and English Bay.
Parks staff had planned to reopen the lots this week, but will not do so after groups gathered on beaches on the weekend as temperatures hit record highs.
“This weekend, our staff observed larger than normal groups of people at destination beaches, as well as a notable reduction in physical distancing,” said Shauna Wilton,
deputy general manager of the park board.
The @ParkBoard says people aren't obeying physical distancing rules so it won't be re-opening parking lots at beaches and parks. The lots were closed in March at Kits Beach, Jericho Beach and English Bay. pic.twitter.com/pAuoaQtRoR
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) May 11, 2020
“While we echo Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to get outside, we need to ensure the public is able to do so safely and we want to remind people to access their neighbourhood spaces and refrain from driving to destination locations.”
Latest available stats from @CityofVancouver show almost 9200 warnings issued to #PhysicalDistancing violators between March 20th and May 7th in parks and beaches with more than 17-thousand inspections done and only one business licence suspended. #vanpoli #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/mXRueXL13T
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) May 11, 2020
Park board rangers have been monitoring physical distancing in parks and beaches since late March and have issued more than 11,079 warnings to groups who are not complying with the provincial health officer’s two-metre guidelines.
They issued more than 1,880 warnings this past weekend, according to the park board.
The park board is also appealing to the public to observe and comply with parking signs, which remain in effect throughout the city.