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New York swingers club busted after violating coronavirus restrictions

Inside the club, Caligula, in Astoria, Queens, in New York City ((NYC Sheriff - Twitter))
Inside the club, Caligula, in Astoria, Queens, in New York City ((NYC Sheriff - Twitter))

An illegal New York City swingers club was busted by sheriffs, after the police received a report of a large gathering, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Deputies from the New York City Sheriff’s Office found more than 80 people inside the illegal club Caligula, in Astoria, Queens, at around 12:05am on Sunday morning, after receiving a complaint about a party, according to the Daily Mail.

Astoria was recently designated a yellow zone under New York’s coronavirus restrictions, limiting gatherings inside businesses to 25 people, with a curfew of 10pm. Inside private residences, gatherings are limited to just 10 people.

A majority of the patrons inside Caligula, which describes itself as “the hottest swingers club in New York,” were not wearing face masks and disregarded social distancing, according to the Mail.

The club included a DJ, a buffet and several boxes of condoms. It also served alcohol without the proper licenses, according to the authorities.

“Deputy sheriffs also observed 3 couples engaged in sexual intercourse in one small room,” the sheriff's office said in a statement on Sunday.

One of the patrons, Jennifer Hayes, 47, insisted to the New York Post that she wore a face mask and was only at the club to listen to live music.

“I just wanted to dance and see and hear a DJ play music, that was it! There’s no other options. You can’t go anywhere.”

She also claimed that people inside the club were social distancing throughout the night.

Two of the club’s organisers were charged with multiple misdemeanours, while the property’s owner faces a fine of $15,000 (£11,255), according to NBC New York.

Ms Hayes was also fined and given a summons for disorderly conduct after officers accused her of “tumultuous or threatening behavior.” She said that she will fight the fine.

Shortly after the bust on Caligula, the authorities broke up a gathering of more than 120 people in Manhattan’s Garment District.

Attendees were drinking alcohol, smoking hookah and dancing inside an event space, according to the authorities.

Five people, including a DJ and two security guards, are facing charges that could lead to a fine of up to $15,000 each.

Since the start of the pandemic, at least 299,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York City, while more than 24,206 have died from the virus.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 12.2 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 256,837.

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