VicPD handed out COVID-19 fines at two separate house parties on Saturday, according to the city’s top cop.

Chief Del Manak tweeted on Sunday that officers issued the fines at two different calls. One call led to a $2,300 fine, while the second resulted in a fine of $230.

“Lying to the police about # of guests, who they are, giving excuses and hiding people in bedrooms & closets doesn’t help,” Manak wrote. “Best tip, don’t host a party in the first place.”

The first incident occurred shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday. Police received a tip of a loud party taking place in a suite at a multi-unit residential building in the 100-block of South Turner Street.

Officers spoke to a resident of the suite who stated that there were only four people present in the suite, and only two of them were not members of the household.

Police were given permission to enter the suite and found one man hiding in a bedroom, on the floor at the foot of a bed, and another man hiding in a closet.

“The presence of four people who were not members of the household contravened the Provincial Health Officer’s Gathering and Events Order,” VicPD said in a media release.

“The residents of the suite were served with a violation ticket for $2,300 under the CRMA for failing to comply with the order. All non-residents were ordered to leave the suite.”

About an hour-and-a-half later, at approximately 12:30 p.m., VicPD were called to another report of a loud party at a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 1400-block of Hillside Avenue.

VicPD attended and noticed that the suite’s windows were fogged with condensation, and there was loud music and people yelling inside.

Officers spoke with the resident of the suite who admitted there were five guests who were not residents of the suite.

Police say that masks were not being worn and physical distancing was not taking place. The resident was served a $230 violation ticket under the CRMA for promoting or encouraging attendance at a non-compliant gathering or event.

The province recently introduced $230 fines as part of a mandatory mask regulation aimed at bending B.C’s curve back down. Police are now empowered to issue the fines to individuals who refuse to abide by the regulation.

Fines up to $2,000 can be issued to event organizers who hold parties with more than 50 attendees, or if people don’t have enough space to maintain two metres of distancing regardless of the number of people in attendance.

$2,000 fines can also be issued to owners, operators and event organizers who hold a gathering at an accommodation rental site, such as an Airbnb, with more than five guests in attendance.

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