New public health regulations mean that everyone at a function risks a $1000 Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) if the gathering exceeds the allowed 20-person limit.

Previously, only the organiser of a gathering was liable to receive a fine if the number of people at the premises breached the Public Health Order, but every person in attendance will now be held individually responsible for the breach.

The changes, which came into effect at midnight on Monday, aim to ensure the safety of the community ahead of an expected increase in gatherings associated with Christmas and end-of-year festivities.

Operation Coronavirus commander, assistant commissioner Tony Crandell, said “coming into the warmer months, and with end-of-year festivities around the corner, it’s only natural that people will have additional reasons to want to gather and get together.

“These amendments aim to ensure that an increase in expected gatherings doesn’t mean an increase in COVID-19 cases.

“The new changes come in addition to other restrictions which remain in place, including a limit on numbers at outdoor gatherings and licensed premises.”

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