COVID-19 fines: Here's how many tickets were handed out to B.C.'s rule breakers in recent weeks

Dozens more tickets were handed out for COVID-19 health order violations in recent weeks, the latest provincial health data shows.

In a news release Tuesday, which also announced a renewed state of emergency in B.C., the province revealed another 99 tickets were handed out between March 12 and March 26.

“We’re still in a time where the virus continues to be a risk to health and public safety, yet some people are just not getting the message,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth in the release.

Since the fines were first introduced on Aug. 21, a total of 1,570 tickets have been issued in the province.

Of the 99 new tickets, the vast majority were $230 fines given to individuals who didn't comply with direction from law enforcement. The 69 tickets in that category totalled $15,870.

Another 21 $2,300 fines were issued to business owners or event organizers breaking the health order on gatherings and nine were a $2,300 ticket given for breaking the food and liquor serving premises order.

But in the weeks since that data was collected, the price of those tickets has gone up. Farnworth announced on March 25 the fines given to individuals for promoting or attending a non-compliant gathering has gone from $230 to $575. 

"We won’t hesitate to take further action if people continue to put safety at risk. I urge all British Columbians to keep a level head and say no to these kinds of events until we can get COVID-19 under control," Farnworth said.

As well, during that two-week period, 10 more Quarantine Act violation tickets were issued, totalling $49,249. Since the pandemic began, 128 of those tickets have been handed out across the province.

The current public health order limiting indoor social gatherings remain in place in B.C. Groups of up to 10 people are now allowed to gather but only outdoors. Indoor dining at restaurants is prohibited until April 19, as is group adult fitness classes.