No plans yet for Vancouver to step up enforcement of physical distancing rules
VANCOUVER -- Mayor Kennedy Stewart said he is proud of Vancouver residents for respecting physical distancing rules.
Two weeks into the city’s state of emergency, crowds at English Bay are noticeably thinner compared to a few weeks ago.
"I do feel there is 90 to 95 per cent compliance," Stewart said at a press conference on Friday.
However, according to the Vancouver Park Board, more than 1,364 groups have been warned for not complying with physical distancing.
"The actual number of people they impact is far higher," a spokesperson said, noting rangers record interactions and not the number of people they speak with.
They mayor is not saying when or if those warnings can turn into fines.
"What we decided is, we’ve taken the measures we need to take, but any further measures would be directed by the provincial health officer," said Stewart.
On Thursday, Toronto Mayor John Tory had tougher words for the residents of his city.
"There have been plenty of warnings," he said, as he announced that Toronto was beefing up its rules.
Tory is signing a bylaw to fine people up to $5,000 for standing within two metres of each other in a city park or public space, excluding those who live together.
"I hope we do not issue a single ticket under this bylaw because I hope people decide on their own to save lives and protect the health-care system and to get over this nightmare as quickly as possible," he said.
B.C.’s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said this province isn’t moving in that direction because there’s little evidence that type of bylaw is effective.
"I actually think what we are doing is a reasonable approach," she said. "We know this virus is mostly transmitted to those we are close with in an enclosed setting — so inside."