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Last Tuesday night, police arrived at a house party in Scarborough, shutting it down and handing out 14 fines for $880 each to people hosting and in attendance.
“14 people were fined $880 each last night in Scarborough under the Reopening Ontario Act. Blatant disregard of rules meant to protect us all. Large crowds of 40-50 people. House parties, please keep them under control,” said Toronto police Constable Randall Arsenault in his tweet.
The Reopening Ontario act allows for gatherings of up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors as of this writing, although public health officials are suggesting that people should avoid parties altogether for the time being.
It’s worth noting that this rule means that if the gathering is inside, 10 is the maximum number of people allowed, and if it’s outside, it’s 25. It’s an either-or rule, and it doesn’t mean that you can have 10 people inside and an additional 25 people outside at any one time, as some are erroneously interpreting it.
Up until recently those numbers were 50 and 100, respectively, but stricter measures were enacted due to sharp spikes in the numbers of new cases over the past couple of weeks in Ontario. These stricter measures are in effect in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.
These limits are for private gatherings and not for events in public facilities with staff such as bars, theatres, restaurants, churches, sports events, banquet halls etc.
Ontario officials feel that house parties need to be targeted because they have been identified as often being focal points for new cases of coronavirus.