RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

RCMP ramp up efforts to enforce B.C. health orders

Police will approach groups, churches and individuals and remind them to follow the orders.

100 Mile RCMP will be ramping up efforts to enforce B.C.’s health order in relation to COVID-19.

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen said RCMP officers will be speaking with organizers of public events, such as the Health Justice March, which has been held downtown on Saturdays, to remind them they could be fined if they don’t adhere to provincial orders. Police will also approach individuals who are not wearing masks in stores and will reach out to at least two churches, which have not been following the COVID-19 measures, he said.

Individuals will face fines of $230 while those holding events could be subject to fines of $2,300.

“We are taking different action now than before,” Nielsen said, adding they will start with an education campaign. “Certainly we respect the fact people have a lawful right to protest these things but these things don’t supersede public health.”

The moves follows B.C.’s decision to extend the COVID-19 measures to Jan. 8 after the province reported 2,020 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 deaths over the weekend. Of those new cases, 203 were recorded in Interior Health. The COVID-19 measures prohibit gatherings and events as well as meeting up with people outside of your immediate household. However, some drive-through, drive-in and drop-off events with COVID safety plans will now be allowed with up to 50 people who must stay inside their vehicles.

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