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Vancouver Park Board commissioners urge those venturing outdoors to socially distance

Last Updated Apr 17, 2021 at 7:04 pm PDT

(Courtesy screenshot Walter Wells @WalterWellsRltr)

People are venturing outdoors to soak up the sun this weekend throughout the Lower Mainland

Two park board commissioners are urging the public to continue social distancing while enjoying the parks, beaches

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Video on social media appearing to show large groups of people on beaches have some expressing concerns with more heading outdoors this weekend.

One video on Twitter seems to show a group of people dancing at Kitsilano Beach, but Park Board Commissioner Tricia Barker is reminding British Columbians that cameras might not be capturing the full image.

Barker says from what she’s seen, the vast majority of people now know how to distance on parks and beaches, especially since it’s been over a year into the pandemic.

“When you see pictures of parks, it’s actually the lens that makes it look like they’re sitting quite close together. And I think that you find when you get down there that people are being pretty good. And sitting apart from each other. You see the little groups,” she says.

And just like it was important last year, Stuart Mackinnon, another Vancouver Park Board Commissioner says distancing continues to be important this time around as well.

“It has been a long winter … but the pandemic is still with us and so we ask people, of course, to act responsibly and to remember the rules of social distancing, wearing a mask when possible, and of course, washing your hands frequently,” he reminds Vancouverites.

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Barker since many of people are keeping their distance physically distancing, “I’m hoping that we have learned our lessons.”

“From what I’ve seen out there people are being pretty good. So let’s hope that people keep this in mind as they get outside, and we’ll get through this and get to the better weather when we can be out in the summer and all of us vaccinated.”

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

“What we try to do is just educate people on what they should be doing. And now it’s pretty much just a reminder if people are getting too bunched up. But I don’t see that we’re having a big problem right now with it. I think people are relieved to be outside,” she says.

Barker adds she’s also seen people take the responsibility to remind their friends, family and strangers to keep a safe distance which has been encouraging to see.

“Remember we are all in this together. We’re trying to get through this is the last toughest part.”