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B.C. to more than double COVID-19 fines for attending social gatherings

Click to play video: 'Fines increase for those promoting or attending gatherings violating B.C.’s public health orders' Fines increase for those promoting or attending gatherings violating B.C.’s public health orders
Fines are increasing for those caught promoting or attending gatherings in violation of B.C.'s public health orders. But more than one year into the pandemic, will increasing the fines deter those from their risky behaviour? Ted Chernecki reports. – Mar 25, 2021

The B.C. government is cracking down on COVID-19 pandemic rule breakers.

Effective immediately, the fine for promoting or attending a non-compliant social gathering or event has gone up from $230 to $575.

The fine for those who organize or host a prohibited event remains at $2,300.

Read more: Booze and no shoes: Inside the Vancouver ‘makeshift nightclub’ that flouted COVID-19 orders

“Over the last several months, it’s become clear that for some, the risk of a $230 violation ticket isn’t enough to deter attendance at events that violate the (provincial health officer) order,” Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said on Thursday.

“I am disappointed that a small minority of British Columbians continue to put their health and the health of others at risk by attending unsafe gatherings. This selfish behaviour needs to stop, and police and provincial enforcement authorities will be able to issue these new fines immediately.”

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Public safety minister hints at more charges against alleged Vancouver illegal party operator – Feb 1, 2021

Indoor social gatherings and events remain banned in British Columbia, but recently, up to 10 people have been allowed to gather outdoors.

A $230 fine will continue to apply to a range of COVID-19 violation measures, including failing to wear a mask.

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Read more: Surrey RCMP hand out $5k in fines to ‘full house’ of gamblers breaking COVID-19 rules

Between Aug. 21, and March 12, there were 1,211 $230 tickets issued to individuals who refused to comply with direction from law enforcement.

The province has not provided any details on how many of these fines are related directly to attending events or indoor social gatherings.

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