HUNTSVILLE — Lockdown restrictions may be lifted today, but limits on large gatherings still exist.

A group of 18 found that the hard way yesterday when they amassed almost $16,000 in fines.

Provincial police said Friday that officers charged them late Thursday afternoon.

They say that on June 10, at 5:30 p.m., officers responded to a complaint from a member of the public about a large gathering occurring at a residence on Deerfoot Trail in Huntsville.

Police went to the location and found a large group of people non-compliant with restrictions under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA).

As a result, each of the 18 persons was each fined $880 for failing to comply with an order made during a declared emergency.

The OPP say they will continue to encourage everyone to follow the emergency measures and health recommendations.

“We are working with local Public Health Units (PHUs), bylaw enforcement and other agencies. Public safety remains our top priority,” they say in the release today.

The OPP asks that 9-1-1 be used for emergency purposes only. If you have questions about an emergency measure, please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions.

To learn more about COVID-19 support services, visit 211oncovid19.ca/ or call the hotline at 2-1-1 for assistance. 211 is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and service is available in 150 languages.

If you have any information on the above investigation or any other incident, you can contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-(TIPS) 8477 or submit your tip on-line at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

A public complaint June 10 on Deerfoot Trail in Huntsville led to 18 people each being fined $880 for being part of a large gathering in contravention of COVID restrictions.