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Parking lots at Vancouver beaches, parks to stay closed due to lack of physical distancing

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated May 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm PDT

FILE - Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver. (iStock Photo)
Summary

Park board rangers monitoring physical distancing in parks and beaches and have issued more than 11,079 warnings

Vancouver Park Board lots were closed on March 23 in response to the pandemic

Staff had tentatively planned to reopen the parking lots this week

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.

“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.”

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.