Video shows partiers breaking COVID-19 rules at Vancouver nightclub
VANCOUVER -- New video has emerged of partiers flouting COVID-19 rules at a Vancouver nightclub, in yet another example of young people engaging in risky behaviour during the pandemic.
The video shows people dancing, crowding in groups without masks and even pouring drinks into each others' mouths – the kind of partying that has been blamed, in part, for B.C.'s surging virus caseload.
"This is the ideal situation for COVID transmission," said Dr. Brian Conway of the Vancouver Infectious Disease Centre. "Many people, close to each other, where alcohol is involved."
Dancing at bars and clubs has been strictly prohibited, by order of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, since last month. Officials have said it's up to establishments to enforce those rules.
Much of the video was recorded last Thursday at Levels Nightclub, during a weekly event called Club Mumbai. The very next day, there was a COVID-19 exposure at Levels that forced the venue to close temporarily for a deep cleaning.
"It wasn't that particular night, so in some ways we got a little lucky," said Jeff Guignard of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees.
Guignard told CTV News he's spoken to the promoter of Club Mumbai, and that what happened appears to have been an honest mistake.
"With all the changing public orders that came out, they missed one, and last week they had dancing, which is not allowed," Guignard said.
Levels is just one of several bars and nightclubs in Metro Vancouver that have had COVID-19 exposure events in recent weeks. Most recently, the Ivy Lounge at Trump Tower was added to health officials' exposure list.
The rash of incidents has prompted calls for tougher rules, including from West Vancouver city councillor Craig Cameron.
"They need to start looking at more strict measures to … regulate what's going on in these places, and if necessary, to close certain establishments that won't comply," Cameron said.
The struggle for health officials is to find a balance so that they don't drive this kind of behaviour underground. Police in Surrey have already cracked down on several illegal after-hours clubs, including some at a venue the organizer allegedly accessed by breaking and entering.
Levels Nightclub has said it's reopening Thursday, though Club Mumbai will not return until next week. The promoter has promised patrons will be sitting down.