With sunny skies in the forecast for most of the May long weekend and provincial health orders calling for B.C. residents to stay close to home, Saanich police are anticipating an increase in traffic at local parks and reminding residents to keep activities safe and legal.
Weather is great! Heading to a #Saanich park or beach this weekend? Please remember that provincial restrictions are still in place, allow for distancing, and no beach fires, alcohol or cannabis in our parks or beaches. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! pic.twitter.com/D69OASSEAh
— Saanich Police (@SaanichPolice) May 15, 2021
On May 15, the Saanich Police Department released a video filmed in Cadboro Bay to encourage beachgoers to adhere to the province’s pandemic guidelines and the district’s rules about open alcohol and beach fires.
Residents are asked to keep in mind that group sizes are still limited to 10 people outdoors (stick to the same 10 each time), social distancing and masks are required when around others outside that group and Dr. Bonnie Henry has advised everyone to stay local.
Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the department, also noted that in Saanich, park-users cannot have wood-burning fires, consume alcohol or smoke cannabis. Only gas-powered fire pits are permitted, per the district’s fire prevention bylaw.
Anyone heading down to the beach should leave those items at home and pack the sunscreen instead, he said.
According to Anastasiades, Saanich police received some reports about incidents in parks over the weekend of May 15 and 16, but none were major concerns.
The majority of park-users are already following the bylaws and public health orders, but some may need a reminder as “we expect our parks to be busy” over the long weekend, Anastasiades said.
Police will be patrolling popular parks and beaches into the evening and any concerns can be reported by calling the non-emergency line at 250-475-4321.
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