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Man fined $500 for birthday party that broke Covid-19 rules

A man who organised a birthday party with more than 100 people days before a spike in Covid-19 cases was fined $500 for breaking emergency regulations.

Quadir Maynard, 29, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court yesterday to unlawfully assembling a group of more than 25 people.

The court heard that Maynard, from Pembroke, applied for a government exemption on March 2 last year to have a gathering at the Botanical Gardens with 100 people.

The exemption letter was granted on the basis that attendees wore masks, maintained social distance and there was a hand-sanitising station.

But when police visited the party on March 5, they saw more than 100 people at the event – none of whom were wearing masks or socially distancing.

A hand-sanitising station was also nowhere to be found.

Police went to Maynard, who was also DJing the event and told him to cut off the music and point them towards the host of the party.

He hold officers that he had been hired by a woman to play music for her birthday party, but later saw his name when they looked for the party’s exemption letter.

Maynard was told that, because his name was on the exemption letter, he was responsible. He was later charged over the incident.

At the time, Covid-19 emergency powers regulations banned social gatherings of more than 25 people and required hosts to ask permission to have more people.

Hosts had to state the intended person limit and could be granted exemptions on the condition that safety rules were followed.

The incident happened about one week before Bermuda recorded a spike in Covid-19 cases, which peaked at 904 active cases by April 19.

The spike was the largest of it kind until autumn that same year when infection cases rose as high as 1,612 by September 22.

Senior magistrate Maxanne Anderson fined Maynard $500 and ordered him to pay before the end of the day.

In an unrelated case, Maynard pleaded not guilty to hosting a gathering of more than 10 people on January 1 last year.

The case was adjourned until October 11 and we has released on $2,000 bail.

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