Large gatherings seen on 2 Vancouver beaches Saturday night
VANCOUVER -- Videos posted on social media show two large gatherings happening on Vancouver beaches Saturday night – one at Wreck Beach and one at English Bay – prompting calls for stricter enforcement of COVID-19 rules.
The gathering at Wreck Beach appeared to show hundreds of people gathered on the sand, standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder. One Twitter user posted the video with the message: “Guess no one cares about the Covid or social distancing at Wreck Beach!!”
The second large gathering was seen at English Bay, where a drummer was playing upside-down buckets in front of a crowd cheering and clapping and standing close together.
The events come just days after Premier John Horgan directly asked young people to stop partying, and B.C.-based celebrities Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen issued similar messages to the people of B.C.
Last week, B.C’s COVID-19 numbers spiked. For the first time since the pandemic started, the province reported more than 75 new cases for three days in a row.
There was outrage last month when a drum circle formed at Third Beach. But, since then, no fines have been issued for breaching physical distancing guidelines, prompting people on social media to call for tickets to start being handed out.
Vancouver City Councillor Lisa Dominato says the events over the last week are “disappointing,” adding that the council is trying to treat “adults like adults.” But Dominato admits issuing fines may need to be the next step.
“Its something we can certainly be looking at and certainly be talking to our staff about, whether that's a measure we need to be moving toward, but we haven’t been there yet for sure,” she said.
In a statement to CTV News on Sunday, Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Const. Tania Visitin said officers have focused on educating people about the importance of physical distancing.
“As of now, Vancouver Police have not been issuing tickets for non-compliance with social distancing/isolating/quarantining,” Visintin said. “The province, along with the (provincial health officer) has taken the lead on this and officers specifically assigned to enforcement with the province will be enforcing any social distancing laws.”