Violation tickets for unsafe COVID-19 behaviour

By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), people and businesses can be issued a violation ticket for non-compliance. 

Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Violation tickets for individuals

At an event

Subject to a $575 violation ticket if you:

  • Attend a non-compliant event
  • Encourage other people to attend a non-compliant event

Subject to a $230 violation ticket if you:

  • Refuse to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave or disperse from the event
  • Engage in abusive or belligerent behaviour in relation to the order
  • Fail to comply with an event condition such as dancing or congregating with others

At a restaurant or bar

Subject to a $230 violation ticket if you:


Violation tickets for owners, operators and event organizers

Violation tickets of $2,300 can be issued to owners, operators and event organizers who host a non-compliant event. For example, an event exceeding capacity limits outlined in the order.


Violation tickets for food and liquor serving premises

Violation tickets of $2,300 can be issued to owners, operators and event organizers. They are subject to a fine if they do not meet the requirements of the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order.

Review the PHO Order – Food and Liquor Serving Premises (PDF)


How tickets are given out

Violation tickets can be issued by: 

  • Police officers
  • Community safety unit
  • Liquor and cannabis inspectors
  • Gaming investigators
  • Conservation officers

WorkSafeBC investigators will assist through their existing authorities and tools.

If violation tickets do not act as a deterrent, or in cases of particularly egregious contraventions or for repeat offenders, police can recommend charges in relation to the offence. On conviction, judicial penalties of up to $10,000 and/or one year in prison may be imposed. 

Working with local governments

The Province is also working with local governments to target individuals and businesses who fail to comply with PHO orders. 

  • This may include revoking business or liquor licenses where issues occur

Reporting possible violations

To report concerns around PHO order violations by event organizers, venues or individuals, contact your local government’s bylaw office.

  • Local bylaw officers can help follow up on concerns, and engage police departments and WorkSafeBC as necessary

If you are unable to reach a local bylaw office, contact your local police department’s non-emergency line.

  • Calling 9-1-1 is only appropriate in serious situations

Paying or disputing a ticket

You have 30 days from the date the ticket was issued to either pay or dispute the ticket. This is consistent with other violation tickets, such as traffic tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act. 

ICBC sends unpaid files directly to collections as soon as the initial 30-day payment or dispute period ends, or an offender is found guilty in court.

Dispute a ticket

You have up to 30 days to dispute a violation ticket. This is the usual process and has not changed.

  • Information on how to dispute a ticket is written on the ticket

Refusal to pay

If you refuse to pay the fine but don't dispute the ticket, after 30 days you are considered to have pleaded guilty and your file will be sent directly to collections.

  • If you can’t afford to pay the fine, you can dispute the fine amount. This dispute will be adjudicated by the courts