THE Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation will not be reopening parking lots at beaches and parks in the coming days as a result of a decrease in public compliance with physical distancing.
Vancouver Park Board lots were closed on March 23 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to prevent large groups of people from gathering at destination parks and beaches, such as Kits Beach, Jericho Beach, and English Bay, among others. Staff had tentatively planned to reopen the lots this week but will not immediately proceed with that plan.
“This weekend our staff observed larger than normal groups of people at destination beaches, as well as a notable reduction in physical distancing,” said Shauna Wilton, Deputy General Manager of the Vancouver Park Board. “While we echo Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to get outside, we need to ensure the public is able to do so safely and we want to remind people to access their neighbourhood spaces and refrain from driving to destination locations.”
The Park Board Rangers have been monitoring physical distancing in parks and beaches and have issued more than 11,079 warnings to groups who are not complying with the Provincial Health Officer’s two-metre guidelines. Last weekend alone, more than 1,880 warnings were issued by Rangers.
The Park Board is also appealing to the public to observe and comply with parking signs, which remain in effect throughout the city.