VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Party hosts and gathering-goers continue to be slapped with fines for violating B.C.’s COVID-19 health and safety orders.
This past weekend saw enforcement action on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
Burnaby RCMP were called to two separate parties at the same short-term rental near Metrotown within 24 hours.
The first call came around 2 a.m. Saturday.
“There were 26 people in attendance at the gathering which was in violation of the limits for vacation properties, the host had not taken contact information from all those in attendance, and there was insufficient space for those gathering to adequately physical distance,” reads a release from police.
Gatherings of more than five people at vacation rentals are banned, so the host of the party was given a $2,300 fine.
.@BurnabyRCMP have handed out more #COVID19 fines this weekend. Both were at a vacation rental suite, not far from Metrotown. On Saturday at 2 a.m., Mounties found 26 people at the gathering. 24 hours later at the same space, they broke up a 17-person party w/a separate host.
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) September 21, 2020
The following evening, the same two officers were called to the suite, which has been rented by a different person who was hosting a party attended by 17 people. A $2,300 was issued, bringing an abrupt end to the party.
If you have a vacation property booked in the coming weeks to host a party with 20 of your friends, take our advice and cancel it now because you will be reported and you will be fined, says Cpl. Mike Salanj.
Meanwhile, at the University of Victoria police were called when more than 100 people gathered on campus Friday.
“The officers observed a complete lack of any physical distancing as well as many openly consuming liquor,” reads a release from Saanich Police.
Eleven $230 tickets were issued “to individuals who were found not to be maintaining the required distance apart.” Fourteen tickets were issued to people who were violating rules around possessing and consuming liquor.
Cst. Markus Anastasiades says it’s the second straight weekend the campus has been a hot-spot for crowds.
“I mean it’s disappointing that it happened, certainly, you know, we were shocked to see that even though we were there last Friday, and saw the large group, that the similar sized group was again convening on the campus, and not abiding by the rules,” he says.
Yikes! Police in Saanich say 100 people were gathered at the University of Victoria, not distancing, and openly drinking on Friday night. 11 tickets handed out related to COVID-19 compliance and 14 for liquor offences. Details @NEWS1130
— Jonathan Szekeres (@jonszekeres) September 21, 2020
By Saturday, police say the message seemed to have been received, as students were observed gathering in small, socially distanced groups.
“It appears that enforcement measures had the desired effect, setting the tone for Saturday’s overall compliance at the campus. We hope others share this message with their peers because at the end of the day it’s doing everything we can to keep everyone safe in our community and beyond,” the release concludes.
With files from Jonathan Szekeres