Dingwall Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall announced new measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19. (News files)

Threat of fines for those in Pitt Meadows who don’t obey: Mayor

Pitt Meadows vows to clamp down on businesses and individuals not practising social distancing

A former RCMP top cop, who knows a thing about law enforcement, unveiled proactive efforts aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in Pitt Meadows.

The city’s mayor announced tonight that bylaw officers will be on the look out for business and individuals who are not complying with the mandatory two-metre separation. And likewise, he said, they’ll be clamping down on restaurants, bars, and cafes in his city that are not obeying the required take-out or delivery service only guidelines.

“Unfortunately, some people are still not abiding by the guidelines from the provincial medical health officer,” Dingwall said.

“These guidelines are not optional; they’re mandatory. While you may think you are low-risk and have an ability to survive this, you can still be a carrier. This means that you are jeopardizing the safety and health of others—especially those in compromised or high-risk categories. Your actions can negatively impact the lives of many others by causing loss of income, emotional distress, serious health issues and/or death.”

Consequently, he said they’re ramping up a public education and monitoring effort to reinforce the physical distancing requirements.

READ RELATED: Pitt Meadows seeks emergency powers to enforce COVID-19 precautions

The City of Pitt Meadows enacted a state of local emergency last Friday, March 20. Prior to that, the city closed down all recreational facilities, and a few days later restricted all access to public playgrounds.

MORE: Pitt Meadows shuts down its rec buildings in COVID-19 fight

ALSO: Parents warned to stay away from playgrounds in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

“This is a very serious matter and the city is fully prepared to take further action,” Dingwall said.

“Let me be clear, parents and guardians are responsible for their children. If we see young people not complying, every effort will be made to contact parents who may be held liable.”

City bylaw officers and staff will be monitoring parks and businesses to ensure compliance, the mayor explained.

And while the first steps are education, awareness and monitoring, the city is prepared to take further action and issue penalties as needed, he added.

Those who disobey the orders may be subject to fines and/or a notice of business closure, Dingwall concluded.

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Under the state of local emergency, all residents, visitors, and businesses are directed to comply with the following conditions immediately:

1. Restaurants, bars, cafes, etc.

· May only provide take-out or delivery service;

· Customers may only be on premises for the time it takes to purchase and collect their purchase;

· Businesses must ensure that when there are people on premises that there is sufficient space available to enable them to maintain a minimum distance of two metres from one another; and,

· No more than 50 people may be on premise at one time.

2. Respect the closure of all playground equipment and sports courts within the City limits.

3. Respect the requirement throughout all City spaces that all users must maintain a minimum of two metres apart, from those who are not part of their immediate household, including, but not limited to: parks and open spaces, as well as whenever safely possible: dikes, trails, pathways and sidewalks.

For the latest COVID information from the City of Pitt Meadows, people can visit their website or the City’s social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

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• If there is more to this story, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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