Metro Vancouver cities close outdoor sports areas as youth defy coronavirus measures

With people still gathering in large groups despite the closures of civic facilities, schools and playgrounds across Metro Vancouver due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, municipalities are now turning their attention to outdoor sports areas.

Port Coquitlam announced Sunday that it is closing all sports fields, sports courts and skateboard parks, effective immediately.

Mayor Brad West says the decision was made after city staff observed “overcrowding” at local outdoor courts, violating provincial orders meant to promote social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19.

“I’m now asking all Port Coquitlam residents to take the advice being provided by health authorities seriously, to keep themselves and others safe,” the mayor said in a statement and on Twitter.

“This isn’t optional.”

The Vancouver Park Board has taken the same step, closing all volleyball, basketball and tennis courts within beaches and parks, along with skateboard parks and sports fields.

The board said its crews were working throughout the day Sunday to install signage at those facilities.

 

The moves are the latest efforts by Lower Mainland municipalities to promote directives from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to limit gatherings to 50 people and stay at least two metres apart.

Cities across B.C. have already shuttered community and recreation centres, libraries, pools, golf courses and playgrounds. Many have also ordered restaurants and bars to either shut down or move to take-out or delivery only.

Full details on what’s closed around the Lower Mainland can be found here.

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