People violating COVID-19 rules are now subject to $2,000 fines | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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People violating COVID-19 rules are now subject to $2,000 fines

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth
Image Credit: Flickr/Province of B.C.
August 21, 2020 - 10:46 AM

Tough new penalties and fines of up to $2,000 were imposed today, Aug. 21, that will apply to anyone organizing gatherings of more than 50 people and other violations of COVID-19 orders.

The fines will apply to property owners as well as those organizing the events.

People attending and not leaving when told to, abusing workers in restaurants who are trying to enforce COVID-19 rules or commit other offences can be fined $200.

These new measures were announced at a news conference held by Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth today.

“A party is not worth someone’s life,” he said. “Let’s get back on track.”

He said the vast majority of B.C. residents have done a great job trying to curtail the spread of COVID-19 but there is a small minority of irresponsible and selfish people who are disobeying the rules.

A lot of the current spread of COVID-19 is coming from house parties, Farnworth said.

People with complaints can call local bylaw officers who can call in police, health, liquor or other inspectors if necessary.

Farnworth talked about a Vancouver beach party that was advertised and people were told not to bring masks. The organizer of that event would now get a $2,000 fine while those attending, if they were not safe distancing or refused to leave, could get the $200 ticket.

Businesses not keeping lists of guests and contact information or people having more than five guests in rental accommodation like Airbnb’s can also get $2,000 fines.

The province is working with local governments to revoke business or liquor licences if necessary.

“It’s time to take a tougher stance,” Farnworth said. “From this point forward we’re going to make sure that those who are making selfish decisions are risking more than their reputations.”

If the $2,000 tickets don’t prove effective or in extreme cases or for repeat violations, they can look forward to fines of up to $100,000.

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