Although Burnaby RCMP saw a decrease in the number of COVID-19 violation tickets issued in March (six tickets) compared to February (10 tickets), Surrey RCMP saw a flurry of public health violations over the past week.
Surrey RCMP stated today (April 14) that, from April 7 to 11 officers attended five large gatherings at residences and issued 18 tickets for a total of almost $17,000 in fines.
One such social event was a wedding with over 22 people in attendance at a residence in Newton on April 7. Officers issued a $2,300 violation ticket to the host.
Then on April 10, officers visited a restaurant in the 9400 block of 120th Street where they found people dining inside the restaurant, thereby violating the provincial health order banning indoor dining. The restaurant owner received a violation ticket. In addition, police notified Fraser Health that this was the second health violation by this establishment.
The next day (April 11), police received a report about a man who refused to wear a mask inside a store in the 7300 block of King George Boulevard. When officers arrived and spoke with the individual in the parking lot, he was uncooperative with them and continued to cause d disturbance. Consequently, police issued him violation tickets for not wearing a face covering, not complying with direction from officers, and for abusive and belligerent behaviour.
“Our officers have recently seen the number of people and businesses ignoring public health orders creeping up,” Surrey RCMP Sgt. Sergeant Tyler Wickware, of the COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team, stated in a news release. “Especially with sunny weather now here, it can be very inviting to gather with others, so we are reminding everyone that Public Health Orders are still in effect limiting gatherings, even outdoors.”
Fraser Health, which includes Surrey and is the most populous health region in the province, has been the hardest hit health authority region in B.C. throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, there have been 64,916 cases in Fraser Health recorded during the pandemic, which accounts for 57 percent of all cases in B.C. (In comparison, Vancouver Coastal Health follows with 28,262 cases, which represents 25 percent of the province's cases.)
To report COVID-19 violations in Surrey, call the City of Surrey bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370 or the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line at 604-599-0502.