COVID-19: Hockey fans in Surrey, B.C., told to celebrate safely if Canucks win big

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Surrey RCMP to monitor Canucks celebrations for COVID-19 safety – Aug 21, 2020

Police in Surrey and Delta in B.C.’s Lower Mainland are asking hockey fans to play it safe as they hope to celebrate a big playoff win for the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.

The Canucks have the opportunity to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues in Game Six of the first round of the post-season, when the puck drops at 6:45 p.m. PT.

If they do, it will be the first time since they’ve advanced to the second round since 2011.

Jubilant fans have made a tradition of congregating at 72 Avenue and Scott Road on the Surrey-Delta border to celebrate playoff wins.

Read more: Dallas Stars beat Calgary 7-3, bounce Flames out of NHL playoffs

The RCMP said that’s okay, but it needs to be different this year due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

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“If you do attend any kind of Canucks gathering or celebration, we’re asking you to please be mindful of current public health orders, to maintain physical distancing — to score that ‘hat trick of safety’ by washing your hands, wearing a mask if you can, and keeping that physical distance,” said Surrey RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Elenore Sturko.

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Bylaw officers and police have been enforcing COVID-19 safety measures as best they can, she added, and on Friday, they were given additional powers to issue fines of up to $2,000.

Read more: $2,000 fines to be issued to enforce B.C. COVID-19 public health rules

Under an enforcement plan announced by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, police can now give a $200 fine to people who are belligerent or refuse to leave a gathering of more than 50 people when asked to do so.

Police will continue to focus on education and dispersal, but will also ensure compliance with public health orders, said Sturko.

The Canucks and Blues face off in Edmonton at 6:45 p.m. PT on Friday.