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Warm weather in Metro Vancouver causes outdoor crowding concerns

Last Updated Apr 17, 2021 at 9:25 am PDT

Summary

People are heading out into the sun this weekend for the stretch of summer weather in the Lower Mainland

New Westminster city councillor thinks many people might forget about social distancing as they head outdoors

And the mayor of White Rock is calling on people living in bordering city's to stay in their own communities for now

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A New Westminster city councillor is concerned many people might forget about social distancing as they head into Metro Vancouver parks and beaches to enjoy the summer-like temperatures this weekend.

Park Rangers in Vancouver will be patrolling beaches and parks this weekend; however, they won’t be handing out tickets. But if people do blatantly disregard public health orders, rangers will call Vancouver Police for assistance.

“Our rangers will be there to educate and support people but our expectation is people understand what the rules and expectations are and people will follow them,” Amit Gandha with the Vancouver Park Board tells CityNews.

In New Westminster, the brand new playground at Pier Park was criticized for attracting a large crowd last weekend.

City councillor Chuck Puchmayr explains that last weekend when he was at the River Market — near the pier –the number of people who were not wearing masks, walking in close proximity, passing each other and touching shoulders was concerning.

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Meanwhile in White Rock, the mayor is sending a clear message, asking people who don’t live nearby to stay away from the popular oceanfront city and keep to their own communities.

“Respect our community and please let people from the community enjoy it,” Darryl Walker says.

Walker says he would love to have people visit the White Rock staple after the surge of COVID-19 cases cools off.

“We’ll let you know when it’s time to come back,” he says.

“COVID is not the time to come visiting there will be enough local people, White Rock and South Surrey who tend to believe it’s their beach as well to come down and enjoy it. Parking will really be at a minimum and it will just be too packed.”

Current provincial restrictions allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people as long as there are still safety measures in place, like wearing masks and physical distancing.

“We are just hopeful people will understand we are almost there and we hope people continue to focus on what we should be doing,” Gandha adds.