Richmond city staff tasked with reminding residents to keep to physical distancing rules have encountered groups of youth and young adults who aren’t complying and are often rude when staff remind them of the rules, according to the city.
This is taking place at city outdoor amenities like basketball courts and sports fields.
“Rude and belligerent behaviour is not acceptable and not productive, so we ask people to please be kind and think of others,” explained city spokesperson Clay Adams.
The city issued its first ticket for non-compliance of physical distancing rules two weeks ago to a man organizing a basketball game, following several reminders.
No other tickets have been issued since, and Adams pointed out the city doesn’t want to issue tickets; rather they want Richmond residents to “do the right thing” and city staff is on-hand to help.
“While we encourage people to get outside and be active, we also want them to do it safely,” Adams said.
He pointed out being non-compliant can put one’s family network at risk.
“Our message is simple - being young and healthy is great,” Adams said. “But it does not make you invincible to COVID-19.”
“Respect the rules now, and we reduce the risk of further spreading COVID-19, which ultimately means a quicker return to activities they love and enjoy,” he added.
The city has also noted some private businesses running fitness classes in public places, for example, at Minoru Park, without permission and without safe COVID-19 practises.
Outdoor spaces have to be booked with the city and WorkSafeBC has strict requirements on how outdoor classes must operate.
These businesses also need to have a business licence.
“Again, we want people to get outside and be active,” Adams said. “We also want them to do it safely and properly.”