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Kingston's COVID-19 Rules Just Got Stricter & Fines For Partygoers Were Upped By $1,500

The city is trying to crack down on massive street parties in the University District.

Kingston's COVID-19 Rules Just Got Stricter & Fines For Partygoers Were Upped By $1,500

The city of Kingston's COVID-19 rules have been changed to increase fines for people who attend parties that are in violation of the province's gathering limits.

A new emergency order came into effect in the city on September 10 to discourage social gatherings and to stop case counts from rising locally. Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson said it will also ensure that people who disregard public health rules are held accountable.

Fines for attending an "aggravated nuisance party" in Kingston have now been increased from $500 to $2,000. That's a party where the number of people in attendance is over the gathering limits set out by the provincial government.

The city's mayor specifically called out large street parties in the University District as "appalling and downright dangerous in the midst of a pandemic," noting the pressure they have put on emergency responders and hospital staff.

"Regrettably, we're now seeing a rise in COVID-19 positive cases in the University District," Paterson said. "Our community is fed up with this disrespectful behaviour that is putting everyone at risk."

Along with increased monetary penalties, there will also be increased enforcement activity and officers are now allowed to immediately issue fines for violations once it has been declared a nuisance party.

In recent weeks, Kingston Police officers have broken up parties near Queen's University and there have been large frosh week gatherings at other Ontario universities.

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