Pay parking will be suspended at all BC hospitals and health authority owned and operated facilities, the provincial government announced on Monday.
“In an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission, we are suspending pay parking for the patients, staff, and visitors at all health authority owned and operated sites. Effective April 1st until further notice,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix, in a press conference.
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Dix added the change makes it easier for individuals to avoid touch screens and buttons on parking kiosks and will support physical distancing measures mandated by the province.
Support for frontline workers
The announcement will also provide much-needed support for frontline workers at hospitals and care facilities.
A petition calling for the removal of frontline worker pay parking fees during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has gained thousands of signatures of support in a matter of days.
Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West took to social media to voice his support for the cause.
I’ve heard too many stories from nurses & health care workers who’ve come off an extra long shift only to be greeted by a parking ticket. They are laying it all on the line for us. The last thing they, & patients, should have to worry about is getting dinged. My ltr to province. pic.twitter.com/8VxJW0WUvc
— Brad West (@BradWestPoCo) March 30, 2020
In a statement to Daily Hive, West said he’s “heard too many stories from nurses and health care workers who’ve come off an extra-long shift only to be greeted by a parking ticket.”
“They are laying it all on the line for us. The last thing they should have to worry about is paying for parking,” he said.
“There are many who think parking should be free at hospitals, period. I agree. But as a first step, surely, the vast majority of us can agree that parking at hospitals should be free at this time.”
The City of Vancouver is expected to make an announcement on the measures it is taking to relax parking fees and restrictions this afternoon.
More to come…