A recent drop in cases doesn’t mean COVID rulebreakers are being let off the hook.

The province has, once again, extended its state of emergency, this time until June 22nd.

This gives police and other authorities extra power to enforce health orders, like handing out fines for things like hosting parties and events, and refusing to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

Between Aug. 21st of last year to June 4th, 2,194 violation tickets were issued, including:

  • 419 tickets for $2,300 each to owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order on gatherings and events;
  • 41 tickets for $2,300 violation for contravention of the PHO Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order;
  • 1,649 tickets for $230  each to people who refused to comply with EPA orders;
  • 82 tickets for $575 tickets to people who promoted or attended a non-compliant event;
  • a pair of $575 tickets to people who didn’t comply the travel restrictions; and
  • one $230 ticket for failing to stop at a road check.

Additionally, since the pandemic began, B.C. police have issued 191 violation tickets to people who contravened the Federal Quarantine Act, totalling $404,829.

“A more normal summer is within reach, but we still need to be careful,” said Premier John Horgan. 

“We have seen how quickly case counts can rise if we let our guards down, so I urge everyone to keep following the public health guidance to keep each other safe. The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we can advance to the next step of BC’s Restart and safely get back to all the things we enjoy.”

“Public health guidance is for a reopening plan that is slow and careful, and the orders will continue to follow those recommendations,” added solicitor general, Mike Farnworth. 

“I know we’re all looking forward to the day when the orders are removed, but right now they’re still in place. So, I want to remind everyone that it’s important to continue to obey the orders and follow the public health guidance as we move forward.”

The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials. 

The original declaration was made on March 18th, 2020, the day after provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, declared a public health emergency.