Fines of up to $ 2,000 possible for hosts of large events violating public health orders in British Columbia

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Police and other law enforcement officials now have the power to impose fines of up to $ 2,000 on people who organize large events that violate public health orders in British Columbia during the COVID pandemic -19, said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.The province says tighter enforcement is needed as a small number of British Columbians ignore public health measures and continue to participate in indoor and outdoor events that increase the risk of disease transmission.

“We cannot let the bad decisions made by a few erode the progress we have made together,” Farnworth said at a press conference on Friday morning.

According to the announcement, organizers can be fined for hosting an event with more than 50 guests, for failing to maintain a contact list, or for accommodating more than five people in holiday accommodation.

“Just because your party has fewer than 50 people doesn’t mean it is legal,” the minister said.

Fines can also be imposed if sites do not provide adequate sanitation and sanitation facilities or sufficient space for physical distance.

The $ 2,000 fines will apply to owners, organizers, venues and promoters. The province also says all attendees who do not follow instructions from police or law enforcement personnel and refuse to leave the events could receive tickets of $ 200.

The number of active cases increases in British Columbia

The announcement comes as the number of active COVID-19 cases increases in British Columbia.

The province reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases to 780, including 11 people hospitalized. The number of people who have died in British Columbia after contracting the disease reached 200 this week.

Deputy provincial health administrator Dr Reka Gustafson said the majority of the latest cases are still detected in young adults, but there has also been a slight increase in infections among the elderly.

She said public health officials were monitoring 2,574 people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but that number could increase if those infected spend time in gatherings.

New enforcement measures are enacted under the provincial state of emergency, using the extraordinary powers of the Emergency Programs Act.

In addition to police, the province says staff from other ministries will be able to issue tickets, including alcohol, cannabis and gaming inspectors, community safety unit inspectors, conservation officers and law enforcement officers. WorkSafeBC.

Farnworth said these law enforcement officers, known as special constables, will focus on private events inside.

Provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry has said throughout the pandemic that while not all outdoor gatherings are safe, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is much lower to the outside.

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