THE number of COVID-19 rule-breakers dropped last week despite the Easter holiday.

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THE number of COVID-19 rule-breakers dropped last week despite the Easter holiday.

After a month in which the number of COVID-19 infractions kept rising each week, the province reported a decrease in tickets and warnings.

Public health order enforcement officers handed out 26 tickets and 42 warnings from March 29 to April 4.

All but three were $1,296 tickets to individuals; two were $298 tickets to individuals for not wearing masks in indoor public places and one $5,150 fine was handed out under the federal quarantine act. The law requires those arriving in Canada to self-isolate for 14 days even if they have no symptoms.

Fifteen of the 23 individual tickets were related to gatherings outdoors or in homes.

In March, the number of fines increased each week: there were 19 tickets in the first week and 28 in the last.

Police in Morden said no tickets had been handed out in relation to a church that disobeyed health orders to hold a full Easter service.

In a now-deleted post on social media, the Christian Church of Morden said the decision was made in part because "livestream services are no substitute for personal fellowship."

Morden Police Service Insp. Sean Aune said they are investigating the case.

"We were notified after the service was held, so we were not there at the time that this happened," he said.

Recently, there’s been a rise in the zero-tolerance attitude to those who refuse to follow COVID-19 regulations. On Sunday, a video of a Canadian Tire employee criticizing two customers who refused to wear masks quickly went viral, after he called the pair "an embarrassment to public health" and kicked them out of the store.

The province has handed out 1,146 tickets and 3,583 warnings, resulting in more than $1.5 million in fines since April 2020.

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Malak Abas

Malak Abas

Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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