Skateboarder Geoff Dermar at Cloverdale Youth Park. (File photo)

Coronavirus

COVID-19: Surrey closes skateparks, playgrounds and courts – but not sports fields

Closures don’t include fields, city says, despite recent concerns about ‘full blown games’

The City of Surrey has closed playgrounds, skateparks and outdoor courts – but not sports fields, Mayor Doug McCallum announced Monday morning (March 23).

In a release, McCallum stated that this latest move is due to a number of “individuals who are willfully ignoring the orders and measures issued by the Provincial Health Officer, such as gathering in large groups both in public spaces or at home.”

The closures do not include sports fields.

When asked why fields remain open, City of Surrey spokesperson Oliver Lum pointed to social distancing.

“All City of Surrey playing fields are closed for organized sports,” he wrote in an email to the Now-Leader. “Provincial sport organizations, i.e. BC Soccer, BC Football, BC Baseball, BC Softball and BC Cricket have suspended all play. Casual use of sports fields and open green space in our parks can take place within the parameters of social distancing.”

SEE ALSO: ‘Full-blown soccer game’ at Surrey park concerns resident amid COVID-19 fears

But on Friday, Surrey resident Gord Sholz told the Now-Leader he was “stunned” when he saw volleyball players sharing water from the same jug during a game break at Newton Athletic Park this week.

Likewise, he couldn’t believe his eyes when “a full-blown soccer game, with referees and everything” was played at the park on Wednesday afternoon (March 18).

“Every time I go there it seems there’s a soccer game going on,” Sholz said Thursday. “They don’t seem to be concerned about it.”

Sholz emailed the Now-Leader last week to complain about organized soccer games still be played at Newton Athletic Park, although he’s not sure whether they were part of an association or just “a bunch of guys playing.”

SEE ALSO: City of Surrey urged to declare local state of emergency

“We’re not talking about five or six people here, it was a game,” Sholz said.

“They need to smarten up,” he added. “The only way this is going to work is for the government to come in and say this park is closed to everybody, otherwise they’ll never get rid of this virus. How are you going to get rid of it if you allow certain things to go on?”

Meanwhile, City of Surrey parks and beaches also remain open, but McCallum reminded residents that proper social distancing measures must be followed.

“To the few who are defying the Provincial Health Officer’s orders, advice and measures, I implore you to stop,” he said. “Carrying on with this kind of behavior is selfish, and you are risking the health and well-being of your family, friends, and everyone in our community. We are in the process of finalizing enforcement measures and penalties for those who continue to defy the orders and measures.”

SEE ALSO: Surrey residents concerned about social-distancing rules not being followed

Arenas, culture facilities, museums, public pools, recreation centres and libraries remain closed until further notice.

On Thursday, during McCallum’s announcement that the city would be shutting down all city-run day camps and daycares, he urged residents to continue to enjoy Surrey’s outdoor spaces, including parks, playgrounds and beaches.

“Get out in the fresh air, but do so by being mindful of social distancing,” McCallum said Thursday. “There are many outdoor spaces you can make use of while keeping social distancing intact.”

Delta closed all playgrounds on Friday but parks remain open. Both Langley City and Langley Township have also closed public playgrounds to help slow the spread of COVID-19 but public parks, trails, tennis courts, sports fields, and sports courts remain open.

Meanwhile, the Surrey Board of Trade and the South Asian Business Association are urging the City of Surrey to immediately declare a local state of emergency amid the COVID-19 Outbreak.

“I know that this means closing down businesses for a period of time, except for essential services – this is a huge ask. But we must mitigate the spread of germs to counter this virus for the good of our economic future,” Anita Huberman, SBOT chief executive officer, said in a news release Monday (March 23).

Both organizations are also calling on the federal government to issue a national state of emergency, “providing leadership from the top.”

The City of Surrey reminds residents:

  • All gatherings (indoors or outdoors) over 10 people are discouraged.
  • Social distancing by keeping about two meters (six feet) from one another.
  • Use virtual options to connect with others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home when you are sick

– With files from Tom Zillich and Lauren Collins



beau.simpson@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

City of SurreyCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rugby practices to return to Lower Mainland fields this fall

B.C. Rugby announced its return to play plan July 7

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 11: B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

Drive-in movies coming to Cloverdale

Dolittle, Trolls World Tour playing one night each at rodeo grounds

Rooftop hatchlings ‘a nice addition’ to White Rock RCMP operations

Pair of seagull chicks hatched in ‘fenced playground’ on July 2

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Most Read