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Premier Horgan favours education over enforcement for COVID-19 rulebreakers

Last Updated Jul 23, 2020 at 4:58 pm PDT

FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan provides the latest update on the COVID-19 response in the province during a press conference from the rose garden at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. premier focuses on education over enforcement in regards to rise in cases, breaking public health orders

John Horgan understands younger people wanting to party on beaches but appeals to them to be responsible

Come fall, COVID-19 regulations could change as people move indoors in cooler weather, Horgan says

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases and larger gatherings, the province is holding course with rulebreakers, focusing on education rather than enforcement.

B.C.’s Premier John Horgan said Thursday, there could be changes to public health orders come fall when as cooler weather sends more people inside. Until then, it is, “steady as she goes.”

“Where we’ve had success in the past few months is appealing to British Columbians to do the right thing,” he added.

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Horgan is clear, he understands 20-year-olds partying on the beaches – he was that kid – but he is not happy seeing it and said they have to stop.

“We believe that we can appeal to people to act better because we’ve done so well to this point in time. Let’s not throw that all away not just for ourselves, not just for our families but for the whole province,” he said.

“I’m appealing to British Columbians to use their good sense, and don’t get together in large groups with people you don’t know. That’s a recipe for your personal disaster that could then spread to your family, your loved ones, your grandparents.”

The premier is not calling for more enforcement on public health orders since he said that hasn’t worked in other jurisdictions.

Horgan also noted seeing more infections is concerning, but not a surprise, as he said new cases will likely remain around the current level, which is around 30 a day.

RELATED: COVID-19 case increase concerns Canada top health officials

“We did anticipate an increase in cases because of the increase in interactions and, quite frankly, we are probably going keep numbers probably around this level.”

Horgan said heading into the last month of summer, people need to be responsible and ask their friends to do the same. While not giving specifics, he said people need to brace for changes in regulations in the fall.

On Wednesday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed reports of a large drum circle at Vancouver’s Third Beach earlier this week, saying the province will continue focusing on educating the public rather than increasing enforcement of coronavirus regulations. She also noted there is still some risk to outdoor gatherings.