The BC Government has extended the State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the end of Nov. 24th.
This allows the province to enforce orders brought down by the Health Ministry to support the province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
An example of this is issuing tickets for owners or organizers contravening the PHO’s orders.
Between Aug. 21st and Nov. 9th, 47 violation tickets were issued, including:
- 19 $2,300 tickets to owners or organizers contravening the PHO’s order on gatherings and events;
- two $2,300 violation tickets for contravention of the PHO’s Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order; and
- 26 $230 tickets issued to individuals who refused to comply with direction from law enforcement
A recent spike in the number of cases of COVID-19 in all regions of B.C, but especially in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, have led to the PHO issuing further restrictions on social gatherings, indoor group exercise and travel for a two-week period in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions.
As well, since the pandemic began, B.C. police departments have issued 58 violation tickets to people in contravention of the Federal Quarantine Act, totalling $64,000.
The purpose of the Quarantine Act is to protect public health by taking comprehensive measures to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases.
The province continues to urge all British Columbians to follow the orders and guidance of public health officials to combat rising cases and help avoid further restrictions.
“Now more than ever, we are asking all British Columbians to pull together and redouble our efforts to flatten the curve,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“The vast majority of British Columbians are doing the right things and following the advice of public health officials. Our government will continue to ensure that police and other enforcement officials have the tools necessary to address the selfish actions of a small minority of people who take needless risks with our collective health.”
The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Nov. 24th.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’re all in it together,” said Premier John Horgan.
“It’s time to focus on the actions that helped keep us safe this spring: diligent handwashing, physical distancing, wearing a mask and staying home when you’re sick. We all have a role to play in supporting our health-care workers, the health-care system and essential workers, and we must do all we can to keep our loved ones safe, schools open and the economy moving.”
The extension is based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials.
The original declaration was made on March 18th, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer (PHO), declared a public health emergency.