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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Niall Carson/PA Images
covid rules

PSNI issue fines after finding 19 people hiding in bedroom at scene of Belfast house party

People who flout Covid-19 rules in Northern Ireland can face fines.

POLICE IN SOUTH Belfast have issued 40 Covid 1 fines and a further four Covid 2 prohibition notices after attending the scene of a house party in the early hours this morning.

After initially breaking up the party, the PSNI were again called to the scene after the party restarted following their departure from the area.

Sergeant Stuart Jackson said: “Just before 12.40am this morning, Police received a report about a large, noisy house party in the Penrose Street area. Officers attended a terraced property and located a large number of people inside.

“At one point, 19 people locked themselves in a bedroom and initially refused to come out. A further two people were found hiding in the attic.”

In Northern Ireland, there are three types of notices that can be issued to people for breaking the Covid-19 rules. Under the current restrictions, households are not allowed to mix indoors. 

A Covid 1 notice carries a minimum fine of £60 and is aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour or gatherings.

A Covid 2 notice is a prohibition notice and requires premises to stop what is considered to be unsafe activity. They can be issued to licenced premises or can be used to restrict house parties. If a premises breaches a prohibition notice, they can face a fine of up to £5,000 on conviction.

Sergeant Jackson added: “After issuing 32 Covid 1 notices, four Covid 2 notices and two fixed penalty tickets, police officers remained at the scene until people left the area. Just after 8.15am this morning, police received a further complaint that a party had restarted at the same address. Police again attended and issued a further eight Covid 1 notices.

People must understand that the current health restrictions are not a game. Across Northern Ireland, people are making sacrifices, not visiting family members or friends and businesses have temporarily closed.
The young people congregating or travelling to this area really need to consider their actions for their own health and that of the community of this residential area. Where appropriate, we will now engage with our University and Further Education partners, who may consider taking action if any of their students were involved with this party.

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