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The BC government has announced it will be more than doubling fines for those breaking the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place for social gatherings.

Effective immediately, the Province announced that fines would increase from $230 to $575 for attending a non-compliant gathering or event.

While the amendment to the Violation Ticket Administration and Fine Regulation raises the fines for promotion or attending an event, the $2,300 fine for organizers or hosts remains the same.

A $230 fine will continue to apply to a range of COVID-19 violation measures, including failing to wear a mask and failing to abide by patron conditions.

The Province said that the increased fine is aimed at behaviour far more risky than the $230 category, but less egregious than offences in the $2,300 category.

“Over the last several months, it’s become clear that for some, the risk of a $230 violation ticket isn’t enough to deter attendance at events that violate the PHO order,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“This selfish behaviour needs to stop, and police and provincial enforcement authorities will be able to issue these new fines immediately.”

The specifics around orders of the provincial health officer, including the number of people allowed at gatherings, will continue to be set at the direction of the Provincial Health Official, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

This is the second amendment this week.

On March 24th, Dr. Bonnie Henry made an amendment to the Provincial Health Order to allow a variance for outdoor religious gatherings of up to 50 people.

As of yesterday, there are 5,573 active cases, 222 of which are on Vancouver Island, and 98 of which are on the South Island.

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