Victoria party host fined $2,300 for violating province’s ban on large gatherings amid COVID-19 pandemic

Victoria party host fined $2,300 for violating province's ban on large gatherings amid COVID-19 pandemic
VicPD issued a $2,300 ticket to a party host after they continued to have a large gathering at their one-bedroom unit on Fort Street.

A person who hosted a party in Victoria has been fined more than $2,000.

According to a press release issued by the Victoria Police Department, officers attended a multi-unit residential building in the 1000-block of Fort Street in the evening hours on Aug. 21 following reports of a “noisy party” that was taking place inside one of the suites.

VicPD said officers first attended the suite at 7 p.m. and gave the host a warning regarding COVID-19 safety protocols surrounding large gatherings after they learned the party had been organized ahead of time.

Officers then returned to the suite at around 10:30 p.m. and saw 15 people inside a one-bedroom suite and told the host to end the party because it was “causing a disturbance” and was unsafe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the host told the officers that he would cooperate, officers remained in the area and continued to notice groups of people coming and going from the building.

VicPD said the officers went back into the suite and saw approximately 30 people inside who were not practicing physical distancing.

“Many of the party attendees were youth. The room was densely populated, hot, and moisture had built up on the windows. Patrol officers believed approximately 40-60 people attended the party,” VicPD said in a press release.

According to VicPD, the host did not document the partygoers and did not get their contact information to assist with contract tracing in the event that someone later became infected with COVID-19.

As a result, the host was given a $2,300 ticket for violating the province’s COVID-19 Related Measures Act. Everyone who was at the party was told by officers to leave the area and no additional tickets were issued. The ticket includes a $300 victim surcharge.

VicPD told CHEK this is the first time the department has ever issued had to issue a ticket to someone for violating the act.

It comes after the provincial government announced that owners and organizers can be fined $2,000 for hosting events found in violation of public health orders in British Columbia under stronger enforcement measures. Fines can be levied for hosting a gathering in excess of 50 people, failing to keep the contact information of everyone who attends an event, or inviting more than five guests into a vacation rental property.

With files from Andy Neal.


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