Police cut off a big party in Chelsea, Quebec. Airbnb; 83 students fined $ 1,000 each

OTTAWA – Police in Quebec’s Outaouais region have said 83 students were each facing a $ 1,000 fine after officers interrupted an Airbnb party in Chelsea over the weekend.

MRC des Collines police tweeted the information on Monday afternoon, saying the incident happened on Sunday.

“83 people identified in an Airbnb in Chelsea partying. All students. $ 1,000 fine for each. The investigation continues,” said the tweet in French.

Speaking to CTV News by phone, MRC des Collines police sergeant. Martin Fournel said neighbors reported a party to police around 2 a.m. on Sunday. The 83 people facing fines were all found inside the house when police arrived, but Fournel said witnesses saw others flee.

Fournel says everyone at the party was a foreign national who is in Canada for post-secondary education. He said investigators believed the party was organized via social media. Those facing fines have come to Chelsea from places like Ottawa, Montreal, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières, Fournel said.

Chelsea is one of the municipalities of the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais under Quebec maximum COVID-19 alert level, which prohibits private gatherings indoors or outdoors.

The City of Gatineau and the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais were moved to Quebec’s “red zone” on October 11 due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the region. According to the Quebec government, there have been 2,264 total cases of COVID-19 and 40 deaths in the region since the start of the pandemic.

Fournel said the investigation would involve public health officials, the owner of the house rented on Airbnb, who lives in Montreal, and Airbnb himself.

Airbnb announced a “global holiday ban“August 20, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It prohibits parties from all bookings from that date and limits occupancy to 16 people maximum in homes that could accommodate more.

“Customers will be made aware of Airbnb’s party rules and informed that they can be legally sued by Airbnb if they violate our policy,” the ban says.

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