Wedding host, business owners fined in Surrey, B.C., for breaking COVID-19 orders

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SURREY, B.C. — Nearly $17,000 in fines have been handed out by RCMP in Surrey, B.C., in the last week to a growing number of people who police say are ignoring COVID-19 health orders.

RCMP say in a statement that most of the fines were issued over large gatherings, including a $2,300 fine for the host of a wedding where 22 people attended against the provincial health officer's orders.

Sgt. Tyler Wickware, with Surrey RCMP's COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team, says officers have seen the number of people and businesses ignoring the health orders "creeping up."

Mounties say the majority of the fines announced Wednesday stem from large gatherings, with officers going to five separate homes between April 7 and 11 to issue fines.

Other fines went to a restaurant owner who violated dining-in restrictions and to a man who refused to wear a mask inside a business.

Wickware says the sunny weather can make it very inviting to gather with others, but public health orders remain in place limiting those gatherings, even outdoors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press