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Public Safety and Solicitor General

Province introduces new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety

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Public Safety and Solicitor General

Province introduces new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety

Media Contacts
For non-medical information relating to COVID-19:
Visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19
Email: servicebc@gov.bc.ca
Or call: 1 888 COVID-19
Jordan Turner
Media Relations
Emergency Management BC
250 952-5062
(flickr.com)
Media Contacts
For non-medical information relating to COVID-19:
Visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19
Email: servicebc@gov.bc.ca
Or call: 1 888 COVID-19
Jordan Turner
Media Relations
Emergency Management BC
250 952-5062

Backgrounders

New enforcement of public health officer orders on events

Police and other enforcement officers are now empowered to enforce public health orders and issue violation tickets for infractions.

This includes the ability to issue $2,000 fines to owners, operators and organizers for contraventions of the provincial health officer’s order on gatherings and events.

The current provincial health officer’s order on gatherings and events is as follows:

  • A maximum of five individuals may attend a social gathering or an event in vacation accommodation, in addition to the occupants. The owner of vacation accommodation must require any tenant, guest or other person using or occupying the vacation accommodation to comply with this requirement.
  • The gathering of more than 50 patrons at a place for the purpose of an event is prohibited.
  • An owner or operator of a place may permit up to 50 patrons to attend an event in a place if the following conditions are met:
    • there is an organizer of the event;
    • if the organizer is not the owner or operator of the place, the organizer must provide the owner or operator with the first and last names and telephone number, or email address, of the patrons who attend the event;
    • access to the event is controlled;
    • the number of patrons is closely monitored;
    • there is sufficient space available to permit the patrons to maintain a distance of two metres from one another;
    • the patrons maintain a distance of two metres from one another when standing or sitting, unless they belong to the same party;
    • if there are tables provided for the use of patrons, no more than six patrons sit at a table, even if they belong to the same party, and there are at least two metres between the backs of the chairs at one table and the backs of the chairs at another table, unless the chairs are separated by a physical barrier;
    • if live performance is provided, or there is a presenter or a presider, a physical barrier must be installed between the performer, presenter or presider and the patrons that blocks the transmission of droplets from the performer, presenter or presider, or there must be at least a three metre separation between the performer, presenter or the presider and the patrons.
    • hand sanitation supplies are readily available to patrons;
    • there are washroom facilities available with running water, soap and a sanitary means for drying hands for handwashing purposes or hand sanitation supplies.
    • The organizer must ensure that these conditions are met and:
  • collect the first and last names and telephone number, or email address, of every patron who attends an event or of every driver of a vehicle present at a drive-in event; and
  • retain this information for 30 days in case there is a need for contact tracing on the part of the medical health officer, in which case the information must be provided to the medical health officer.
    • If the event is a drive-in, the owner or operator may permit more than 50 patrons to be present, if the following conditions, as well as the conditions above, are met:
      • patrons only attend in a vehicle;
      • no more than 50 vehicles are present at the drive-in;
      • patrons are informed that they must stay in their vehicles except to use washroom facilities, and when outside their vehicles they must maintain a distance of two metres from other patrons, and this is monitored; and
      • no food or drink is sold.
  • If the organizer is not the owner or operator, the owner or operator must:
    • satisfy themselves that the organizer is aware of the requirements listed above and has the capacity to fulfil them; and
    • retain the names of and contact information for the patrons provided by the organizer for 30 days, in case there is a need for contact tracing on the part of the medical health officer, in which case the information must be provided to the medical health officer.

$200 violation tickets for individuals are related to new provisions in Ministerial Order 314

Examples in the order (refer to bclaws.ca for complete ministerial order):

  • A person must not promote a social gathering or event or encourage another person to attend such a social gathering or event that would contravene the provincial health officer’s order on gatherings and events .
  • A person who attends or promotes such a social gathering or event must comply with any direction given by a law enforcement officer, including a direction to disperse.
  • A person must not engage in abusive or belligerent behaviour towards another person:
    • at a social gathering in vacation accommodation,
    • at an event, or
    • in any premises, as defined in the provincial health officer order on restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias and licensed premises, including pubs, bars, lounges, nightclubs and tasting rooms.

Learn More:

The full gatherings and events order can be viewed here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-gatherings-events.pdf

The order for restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias and licensed premises, including pubs, bars, lounges, nightclubs and tasting rooms can be viewed here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-nightclubs-food-drink.pdf

The Public Health Act can be viewed here: https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/content/complete/statreg/08028/?xsl=/templates/browse.xsl

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