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State of emergency extended to continue crackdown on COVID rulebreakers

The province’s State of Emergency is staying in place for another two weeks.

It’s been extended to April 27th to allow police and health officials to continue to enforce COVID-19 measures, like issuing fines to rulebreakers.

This includes $2300 tickets to owners, operators and organizers who host or promote large events and gatherings.

From Aug. 21st of last year to April 9th, 1,709 violation tickets were issued, including:

  • 272 $2,300 tickets to owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order on gatherings and events;
  • 51 $2,300 violation tickets for contravention of the PHO’s Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order;
  • 1,368 $230 tickets issued to individuals who failed to comply with PHO orders; and
  • 18 $575 tickets to individuals who promoted or attended a non-compliant event.

Additionally, since the pandemic began, B.C. police agencies have issued 134 violation tickets to people who contravened the Federal Quarantine Act, totalling $238,194.

The Quarantine Act protects public health by taking comprehensive measures to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases.

Since the start of the pandemic, WorkSafeBC has conducted 25,356 COVID-19 related worksite inspections.

“This is a difficult time for everyone,” said Premier John Horgan. “With the vaccine program well underway we can see hope on the horizon, but higher case numbers and variants mean that we need to draw back in some places instead of opening up. I want to thank British Columbians for their hard work so far, and I’m going to ask you to keep putting your shoulders to the wheel for a while longer so we can all get through this safely and recover with the strength this province is known for.”

The original declaration was made on March 18th, 2020, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO), declared a public health emergency.

“Public health orders are in place to keep us safe so we can eventually loosen restrictions and return to a more normal life,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. 

“If people want to get back to travelling, gathering and doing all those things we’ve been missing for so long, we all have to follow the orders and guidance. For those who just can’t seem to get that message, enforcement measures will continue to ensure public safety. Police and other enforcement agencies are working hard to make sure the efforts of the majority of British Columbians aren’t dampened by the selfishness of a few.”

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