VANCOUVER -- Taking more steps to promote physical distancing during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the City of Vancouver has closed some lanes to vehicle traffic in the downtown core.

Starting Thursday, eastbound lanes of Beach Avenue will be temporarily closed to vehicles. 

"We heard concerns about the inability for residents to practice physical distancing while exercising or getting fresh air, particularly in denser parts of the city like the West End," a news release issued by the city said. 

"As a result, we are temporarily closing eastbound lanes of Beach Avenue to vehicles between Hornby Street and Stanley Park, so local residents can use the lanes for walking and biking while keeping two metres apart."

The city said the closures should help residents move more freely while physically distancing. 

"This is a responsive measure and not intended as an invitation to gather," the city's release said. 

The closures also means the 23 bus will be rerouted along Davie Street. Residential parking will still be available on the north side of Beach Avenue where possible. 

Those lane closures will come into effect the day after temporary regulations are being put in place in Stanley Park. As of Wednesday at noon, the park will be completely closed to cars, while cyclists will be asked to avoid using the seawall.  

"We're doing it to reduce congestion in the park, to provide space on the roads within the park, and to relieve congestion to the adjacent seawall," said park board manager Malcolm Bromley at a news conference Tuesday.

Bromley said about 1,600 warnings have been issued by rangers to people not keeping physical distance in Vancouver parks. 

But late last week, Mayor Kennedy Stewart said he felt most Vancouver residents were following physical distancing rules. 

"I do feel there is 90 to 95 per cent compliance," he said at a press conference on Friday.