Police lay charges in weekend church gatherings with 100 alleged unmasked people

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WHEATLEY, Ont. — Police have laid charges after they say large gatherings were held two days in a row in a Wheatley, Ont., church this weekend.

Chatham-Kent Police say they found more than 100 people without masks inside the church at both times.

Police say a 50-year-old man from Merlin, Ont., was charged over the gathering at Old Colony Mennonite Church on Saturday.

They say another man from Merlin was charged over a gathering at the same church the next morning.

Both men were charged with failing to comply with the Reopening Ontario Act, which limits religious gatherings to 10 people indoors or outdoors during lockdown.

Ontario was placed under a province-wide lockdown on Saturday, which will remain in effect for 28 days in southern Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press