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Hosts charged after RCMP disperse 3 Antigonish parties with more than 50 people

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Antigonish RCMP say they broke up three large house parties over the weekend and charged three people with failing to socially distance.

Sgt. Andrew Joyce told Global News some of the parties had 50 to 70 attendees.

The hosts of three parties were charged under the Nova Scotia Health Protection Act with failing to socially distance. A maximum fine for this charge, determined by the courts, is $697.50.

Read more: RCMP fine 4 Nova Scotia university students $1,000 each for failing to self isolate

Joyce said RCMP do not have a standard protocol on who to charge when it comes to large parties, but generally it’s the hosts who have been charged.

He said the RCMP is taking an educational approach when it comes to COVID-19 public safety measurements, rather than charging everyone.

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Joyce said police are using social media to raise awareness of the measurements, proper conduct and potential charges.

In Nova Scotia, gatherings are limited to 10 people when social distancing isn’t possible. If physical distance is possible, 50 people are allowed to gather.

RCMP have previously charged students in the province for failing to distance, as well as failing to self-isolate.

Fines for these charges are on the courts to impose, the RCMP said.

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Police also said four people in Antigonish were charged under the Liquor Act, unrelated to the house parties. One individual was charged for underage drinking, and three people were charged for open liquor on a street, Joyce said.

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In addition, one individual was charged under the Town of Antigonish Municipal Noise Bylaw, police said.