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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Winnie Peters, centre, spoke about the loss of two husbands over the years, both of who were murdered. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls event in Hope on May 5, 2021 included prayers for men who have been killed as well. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)
Red dresses hang in Hope’s Memorial Park in remembrance

Group gathers for National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

UBC Sports Hall of Famer Carrie (Watson) Watts (far right, front row) helped lead the UBC Thunderbirds to the 2004 national championship, their first since 1974. She served as assistant coach a few years after graduation. (Photo/UBC)
Agassiz-born basketball star inducted into UBC Sports Hall of Fame

Carrie (Watson) Watts helped lead the team to their first championship in decades

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

JANGO the police dog helped track down a suspect on Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack. (RCMP photo)
Alleged thief in Chilliwack can’t fool the nose of JANGO the police dog

An Edmonton man who allegedly broke into a storage container on Luckakuck Way was arrested

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read