First ticket in Richmond issued for breaking physical distancing rules

A game of basketball has netted the organizer the first ticket in Richmond for breaking physical distancing rules.

A fine of $125 to $175 – depending on when it’s paid – was issued to the individual at an organized game of basketball at a city community recreation centre.

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Community Ambassadors gave reminders to the individual to stop playing, but these were not heeded and a bylaw officer was brought in to issue the ticket.

Playing an organized game of basketball was not in compliance with the parks policy and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While city spokesperson Clay Adams said Richmond is committed to enforcing rules and guidelines, that isn’t the first approach.

“Our approach is always try to educate and inform through discussion rather than fines,” Adams explained. “The issuing of a ticket is truly a last resort.”

The city implemented the Community Ambassador program a few weeks ago to remind people to stay physically distanced.

“It is a particularly important reminder given tomorrow is Canada Day and the potential for people to gather in larger groups in public areas,” Adams said. “Community Ambassadors will, again, be active and visible across Richmond to remind people to have fun, enjoy the community, but to be safe and respectful while doing so.”

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