Effective 7 a.m. on Tuesday March 24th, the Ogden Point Breakwater will be closed to visitors.
According to a statement from the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), the decision to close the area was made after several incidents where community members were seen in close proximity and not adhering to the mandate by the Provincial Health Officer to practice social distancing.
The upper walkway level will have gates and signage installed informing people about the closure, while signage on the lower oceanfront level will instruct people to avoid the area.
“We typically see more than 450,000 people use the walkway each year. With the recent sunny weather, tied in with the impact of COVID-19, we unfortunately didn’t see those numbers slow down,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of GVHA.
“While it is a difficult decision to close a space that Victorians love, this is in the best interest of our collective health and safety and our requirement to help flatten the curve.”
The amount of routine maintenance and daily sweeps for garbage and safety at the breakwater will be reduced during the closure.
Other popular public properties like the Inner Harbour Lower Causeway, Ship Point, and Fisherman’s Wharf will be continued to be monitored by the GVHA.
The ramp gate leading to float homes at Fisherman’s Wharf has been closed and the three fingers where the float homes are situated are stanchioned off.
Visitors to the food and beverage businesses that are offering take out services only are directed to the middle ramp for access.
The GVHA will make announcements on additional changes if and when required.
Currently there are 472 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 39 on Vancouver Island.
The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic.
Earlier this week, B.C. joined Alberta and Ontario in declaring a public health emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the health ministry’s public health emergency.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C.
Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada will be temporarily banned by March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 374,725.
Nearly 16,500 people have died from the illness and 101,554 have made a full recovery.