New Year’s Eve socializers dinged $14K in fines in Winnipeg

Nearly a dozen people in Winnipeg ended 2020 in fine style — literally.

Police handed out 11 tickets to people gathering in violation of COVID-19 public health orders during the evening of Dec. 31.

All tickets were issued at just two private parties, a police spokesperson said.

Each individual fine is $1,296, resulting in a total of $14,256.

There were also a number of warnings issued to other people through the evening and into New Year’s Day — unrelated to those two gatherings — but police did not yet have a tally on that.

Between Dec. 21 and Jan. 3, police received 106 COVID-related calls through their communication centre as well as 258 others through 311.

The response to many of the calls was educational, informing or warning people about the public health orders, which are set to expire Jan. 8.

Manitoba is under red-level restrictions, which means outdoor gatherings are limited to five people in public places and only members of a household can be together at a private residence, including in yards, with a few exceptions.

In total, across the province, 279 warnings and 55 fines were issued for the week of Dec. 28 to Jan. 3, according the province.

That includes 49 individual fines of $1,296 and six fines of $298 for not wearing a mask in indoor public places.

Of the 49 individual fines, 41 were for gatherings in private residences, the province said.

Since enforcement efforts began in April, a total of 1,962 warnings and 672 tickets have been issued, resulting in more than $984,000 in fines to businesses and individuals.

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