COVID-19: Frequently asked questions

General information

Common questions being asked of Township staff 

Are police allowed to give out tickets?

Police and other provincial enforcement officers are being given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order on gatherings and events. Find out more.

What about bylaw officers?

Local bylaw officers can provide enforcement assistance for the Public Health Officer’s (PHO) orders by:

  • monitoring facilities and areas closed to the public by a public health order;
  • providing warnings, information and advice to businesses and members of the public about public health orders, including warnings to businesses and members of the public who may be acting in contravention of a public health order; and
  • providing information on potential contraventions of a public health order for follow-up by health authorities.
  • actively enforcing EPA orders and issuing $2,000 violation tickets for infractions throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency, focusing on the Province’s ban on reselling essential goods and supplies and price gouging.

Bylaw enforcement officers do not have the ability to detain an individual as a result of a contravention or suspected contravention of a public health order, or issue a fine or penalty, including an administrative penalty, under the Public Health Act.

Public concerns regarding compliance with the PHO’s orders should be directed to local governments, who can dispatch bylaw officers for follow-up. 

I see a business that shouldn’t be open or is demonstrating poor physical distancing practices. Who do I call?

Bylaw officers have been empowered with assisting Provincial compliance officers with ensuring businesses respect the health orders and directions. They can be reached Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except statutory holidays)

    What about parties, groups and other concerns about physical distancing?

    It’s important to clarify that physical distancing (remaining 2m apart and not gathering outside your bubble) is paramount from a community health perspective.

    August 21's Provincial orders have stated that when required, police and other provincial enforcement officers will also be able to actively enforce the order and ticket a series of other infractions, including:

    • $200 violation tickets for individuals who actively encourage others to attend gatherings or events that do not comply with established requirements, or refuse to leave or disperse when directed to do so by enforcement officers; and,
    • $200 violation tickets for individuals who refuse to comply with requests to follow the PHO order or safe operating procedures of a restaurant, bar or other licensed establishment, or respond with abusive behaviour towards employees.
    • Residents can report non-medical related COVID-19 concerns to the Province by calling 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).
    • For large, loud gatherings which occur outside of Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.

    What if someone refuses to move away from me in a public area?

    Physical distancing rules, while not enforceable, are strongly directed by the Provincial Health Officer. This is a matter of good civic behavior and the expectation is that people treat each other respectfully. If you feel that this is an emergency and you are in immediate threat of physical harm, call 9-1-1.

    Why do I see outdoor markets open?

    Outdoor markets have been deemed to be essential by the provincial health authorities; however they are only permitted to sell food. They, like grocery stores and other retail environments, need to respect current health guidelines.

    My neighbour returned from a trip and should be self-isolating but isn’t

    Quarantine Act violations: everyone arriving from outside of Canada is required to quarantine for 14 days. Police are following up on these complaints.

    If you have information that someone isn’t following quarantine after arriving in Canada, call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.


    See our COVID-19 updates at