The host of a party in a one-bedroom apartment on Vancouver Island just received a hefty fine for failing to physically distance.
According to the Victoria Police Department, on Friday evening officers attended a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 1000-block of Fort Street due to a “noisy party” where a large number of people were gathered.
Police said in a release they had warned the resident hours before about the rules around large gatherings after learning that there was a large party planned.
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“When officers attended the scene at 10:30 pm they observed approximately 15 people inside a one-bedroom suite,” police said in the release. “Officers asked the host to end the party as it was causing a disturbance, and unsafe during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The host reportedly told the officers he would cooperate.
Police remained in the area and said they observed groups of people coming and going from the building. When officers returned to the suite they say approximately 30 people were inside, not practicing physical distancing.
“The room was densely populated, hot, and moisture had built up on the windows,” police said. “Patrol officers believed approximately 40-60 people attended the party.”
The host was given a $2,300 fine for violating the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (CRMA) which includes a $300 victim surcharge.
Attendees were reportedly young and contact information was not collected by the host in case anyone at the party is confirmed to be sick.
Attendees were not ticketed, but asked to leave the area.
The party came just hours after Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said police and other provincial enforcement officers can now issue fines for owners or organizers contravening the guidelines.
“These orders will help us put a stop to the selfish acts of a small minority of British Columbians who are threatening to erode the progress our province has made in controlling COVID-19,” said Farnworth during a press conference on Friday.
In addition to enabling action from police, Farnworth said the province is enlisting compliance and enforcement staff from provincial ministries to support enforcement and help issue tickets for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes liquor, cannabis and gaming inspectors, community safety unit inspectors, and conservation officers.
With files from Eric Zimmer.