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Why going to a party could cost you $1000

2 weeks ago 9

With warm weather finally upon us and people beginning to look towards their Christmas celebrations, police have announced a crackdown on private gatherings.

Under a new amendment to the Public Health Order announced on Monday afternoon, anyone gathering in a group of more than 20 will be liable for a $1000 fine – not just the host.

The changes, which came into effect at 12:01am on Monday, were designed to ensure public safety ahead of an expected increase in gatherings associated with Christmas and end-0f-year festivities.

“Coming into the warmer months, and with end-of-year festivities around the corner it’s only natural that people will have additional reasons to want to gather and get together,” Operation Corona Virus Commander Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell said.

“These amendments aim to ensure that an increase in expected gatherings doesn’t mean an inreas in COVID-19 cases.

“The new changes come in addition to other restrictions which remain in place, including a limit on numbers at outdoor gatherings and licensed premises.”

While police are cracking down on private gatherings, restrictions on weddings have eased, with couples now allowed to have 150 people attend their big day if it’s at a place of public worship.

Venues can also now take bookings for weddings and other events to be held in the future for more people than are currently allowed under the current rules, provided the rules that apply on the date of the event are obeyed.

If a place of public worship has multiple buildings, each building can have as many people as allowed under the four square-metre rule, up to a maximum of 100 people, but each building must be designated as a separate area, with its own COVID-19 Safety Plan and separate staff, and each service or event must start and finish at a different time.

People attending an on-site auction or real estate inspection are exempt from the 20-visitor rule, though real estate agents must have a Safety Plan in place for viewings or inspections of on-site open homes and public auctions.

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