Large gatherings of people at Kitsilano Beach on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Walter Wells/Twitter)

Large gatherings of people at Kitsilano Beach on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Walter Wells/Twitter)

Vancouver police to reassess enforcement of COVID rules at outdoor parties: mayor

No tickets were given out for a large outdoor party at Kitsilano Beach

The Vancouver mayor says the city’s police force will be taking another look at how they respond to outdoor parties.

In a series of tweets, Mayor Kennedy Stewart said that now is “not the time to be gathering in large groups.”

His comments come after reports and videos surfaced of dance parties at English Bay and Kitsilano beaches on Saturday, despite high COVID-19 cases and pleading from B.C. health officials to avoid gatherings of any size. Gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted outdoors, but masks, distancing and keeping to the same group have been recommended.

“I’ve been in contact with Chief Palmer and after a busy weekend the VPD will be reassessing their approach to outdoor parties,” Steward said.

“This weekend while partiers broke health orders, (police) swiftly responded to a gang related shooting in Coal Harbour.”

In an email to Black Press Media, Const. Tania Visintin said that Vancouver police had a “high volume of priority calls on Saturday night, including a murder downtown, and all resources were tied up.”

READ MORE: One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

She said that by the time police responded to the party, the crowd had shrunk and no tickets were handed out.

Visintin said that police balance COVID related calls with those about crime in the city and cannot always instantly show up to enforce pandemic rules.

While authorities are watching at parks and beaches, Visintin said “it is also personal responsibility of individuals to remain extra vigilant when it comes to social distancing and remaining within their core bubble.”

Vancouver is not the only city figuring out how to prevent large outdoor gatherings as the weather gets warmer. White Rock’s council is scheduled to discuss COVID-19 prevention measures on the waterfront Monday, after a sunny weekend saw crowds flock to its beaches.

PHOTOS: Council to consider ‘prevention measures’ as crowds flock to White Rock beach

B.C. reported 1,005 new cases and six deaths Friday, capping off a week where cases were largely in the quadruple cases and the COVID positivity rate reached record highs. Health officials and the premier are expected to make an announcement about COVID measures and statistics on Monday afternoon.

VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusVancouver

Just Posted

A group fitness class at the Mission Leisure Centre. / File Photo courtesy of District of Mission
Mission to participate in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge

Event runs from June 1-30 and organizers hope Mission can be named Canada’s Most Active Community

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed guard Gentrey Thomas for the 2021 CEBL season. (Fraser Valley Bandits photo)
Fraser Valley Bandits sign guard Gentrey Thomas

Abbotsford-based basketball club signs former UC Riverside talent

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

(Vancouver Police Department)
Vancouver police expect violence to escalate, ID 6 gangsters who pose ‘public safety risk’

VPD asking public to stay away from these six people, who they say may be targeted in shootings

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read