Stay Home, Stay Put

City’s enforcement ability strengthened under State of Emergency bylaw

Today, Council passed new enforcement measures including fines of up to $50,000 for those who continue to believe the rules don't apply to them. This is serious. Now is the time to shut down, stay put, and save lives.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

March 23 2020 –

Today, City Council voted to give City of Vancouver staff the power to enforce orders under its existing State of Emergency bylaw, including the ability to prosecute breaches of emergency orders, and the ability to issue tickets. 

The bylaw revisions passed today would allow for $1,000 tickets and prosecution of breaches of the order subject to fines of up to $50,000. 

This bylaw is one tool in the City’s toolkit to help limit the spread of COVID-19. It should help ensure businesses follow the orders issued under the bylaw.  

All dine-in options at local establishments shut down

Last week, the City of Vancouver shut down all dine-in options at local establishments. This is currently the only order under the bylaw. Over the past two days, inspectors visited more than 1,600 restaurants and identified 14 cases of non-compliance with the order.

The City is pleased to see how responsive restaurant owners have been to date and thanks the vast majority of businesses that are taking direction from the City and from public health officials seriously.

Park facilities, playgrounds, and parking lots closed

Some people in Vancouver continue to gather in large crowds at our parks and beaches. In addition to previously-announced facilities and playground closures, the Vancouver Park Board is now closing parking lots at high-traffic outdoor destinations.

Beaches and parks remain open, but may be closed and an order may be issued in the near future if people continue to gather in groups at these locations.

Prevent the spread of COVID-19

All City of Vancouver facilities and service delivery information can be found on our web site at

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in people should:

  • Stay home 
  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching their face
  • Maintain a two-metre distance between themselves and others

We appreciate there is a lot of information circulating at this time, and not all of it is coming from verified sources. All updates from the City of Vancouver will be noted within our news releases, on our website and our verified social feeds. Residents are encouraged to follow @CityofVancouver on Twitter to receive the latest updates on COVID-19 response.

The City of Vancouver continues to work with public health officials and multiple partners on the COVID-19 response.


Mayor Kennedy Stewart

"The time for asking nicely is over," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. "Today, Council passed new enforcement measures including fines of up to $50,000 for those who continue to believe the rules don't apply to them. This is serious. Now is the time to shut down, stay put, and save lives."

City Manager Sadhu Johnston

“The intention of gaining enforcement tools is to ensure that businesses comply with orders. We have no intention at this time to ticket people for not complying with social distancing,” said City Manager Sadhu Johnston. “We would prefer that people follow the advice given by public health, and the City’s orders under the local State of Emergency, however for businesses that are not compliant, we will enforce the orders, issue tickets and prosecute breaches if it comes to that. If people ignore social distancing, we will consider issuing and enforcing orders, but that is not underway at this point.”

Councillor Melissa De Genova

“Enhanced enforcement may be needed to help our city achieve 100% compliance with social distancing. Vancouver does not have the luxury of time-the sooner we take action, the better our chances of slowing and stopping the threat of infection, especially to the most vulnerable people in our city,” said Councillor Melissa De Genova. “Vancouver has an opportunity to make decisions based on information and outcomes we are seeing globally. I am pleased by the unanimous support of Council to adjust the Emergency bylaw to allow the city to issue fines of $1000 with the possibility of penalties up to $50,000 for those who do not comply. Although I hope tickets and fines are not necessary, it is important to take swift and serious actions to flatten the curve.”

Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung

”Council took another strong step today. Amending Vancouver’s State of Emergency By-law to include enforcement powers and the ability to lever fines against businesses for life-threatening non-compliant operations, as well as against non-complaint individuals who flaunt physical distancing requirements, can be a critical tool in the fight to keep everyone healthy and safe,” said Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung. “This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s the real deal. Everything we do impacts everyone else. Please step up Vancouver and do your part and we’ll come out the other side together.”