Mayor threatens to close waterfront over lack of physical distancing

Shut down Knox, waterfront?

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran offered a stern warning to residents wanting to get outside and enjoy the sunshine that has descended upon us.

Please, practice physical distancing, or we may be forced to close some of the city's more popular gathering spots.

"Unfortunately, we are still receiving concerns about the lack of physical distancing in some of our most popular areas, like Knox Mountain Park and the Waterfront Promenade," said Basran prior to Monday's afternoon council meeting.

"If we want to keep these community jewels open, everyone must practice physical distancing, or we will have no choice but to close those areas.

"With the weather warming up, and more people expected outside, this is not something council wants to do, but if physical distancing is not adhered to, we will."

Basran reminded residents both bylaw enforcement officers and the RCMP are out in force educating residents and businesses about public health orders as part of their day-to-day interactions with people.

"They can only issue warnings to those who continue to defy public health orders, and they will report repeated cases of non-compliance to Interior Health for follow up."

He also again thanked everyone working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring essential services and supply chains keep going.

"Council, and our citizens really do appreciate your work, as we can see by the growing displays of appreciation with messages in our windows, and friendly, and sometimes noisy drive-by visits to health care workers and first responders," said Basran.

"Together, we will get through this and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever."

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