Popular areas in Metro Vancouver closed as many ignore COVID-19 warnings
VANCOUVER -- Cities around Metro Vancouver have been forced to step in and close many popular outdoor areas after a weekend that saw many people crowding together, ignoring physical distancing guidelines laid out by public health officials
In Vancouver, park staff moved logs off beaches Sunday in at attempt to keep people from gathering in close groups like was seen on Saturday. Ball courts, playing fields and parking lots around popular parks and beaches have also been closed.
But it's not just Vancouver that has faced these issues; problems in other cities have popped up too.
On Monday night, White Rock's city council voted in favour of closing the White Rock Pier to help promote physical distancing. Previously, the city had closed nearby parking lots to reduce crowds on the pier and nearby promenade.
On the North Shore, the District of North Vancouver announced Quarry Rock and the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge have been closed until further notice, noting visitors had not been following orders to keep two metres apart. In some cases the district noted the layout of the trails made keeping that distance impossible. Staff had also been at those locations over the weekend reminding hikers of the distancing requirements.
On Monday, the Mt. Fromme parking lot, which is frequently used by mountain bikers, as well as the skateparks at Kirkstone, William Griffin and Seylynn were also closed on the North Shore.
Mount Seymour Provincial Park and Cypress Provincial Park have also been closed.
Richmond added additional closures to its list on Monday to include sports fields, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts as well as skate parks, bike parks, lacrosse boxes and the outdoor fitness area in west Richmond.
Coquitlam is closing all sport fields, sport courts and skateparks, including tennis courts. All public washrooms in city parks are also being closed.
The Coquitlam Crunch and Lafarge Lake Loop Trail, both popular hiking trails, will remain open for now.
“At the Crunch, users are directed to use unidirectional ascent and descent – the west side stairs will be used for up only and the east side stairs will be used for down. City staff will be located at the bottom and at the top of the Coquitlam Crunch stairs from 8 a.m. to dark to help remind users to maintain social distancing,” the city noted in a news release.
The City of White Rock has temporarily closed all waterfront parking lots in an effort to reduce the number of visitors to popular areas including the promenade and pier. The mayor has said the pier may be closed if problems with crowding continue.