Police dished out more than £40,000 in fines to Nottingham Trent University students after breaking up a house party on Tuesday night.
Four students were each given £10,000 bills for breaching Covid-19 rules after ignoring orders from police to stop the party.
Nottinghamshire Police say the third year students told officers they were “spoiling their fun” on the eve of the area potentially going into a tier 3 lockdown.
More than 30 people were also found hiding in the kitchen, upstairs bedrooms and basement of the property.
Nottingham has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country with 672.0 per 100,000 people as of October 16, though the figure is down on the previous week’s.
Nottingham Trent University has confirmed the students have all been suspended pending an investigation, which is now underway.
Council community protection officers patrolling the area had spotted the party from the street but were told everyone had left the house on Kimbolton Lane in Lenton.
In a statement, Nottinghamshire Police said: “On closer inspection, more than 30 people were found hiding in the kitchen, upstairs bedrooms and basement.
“When challenged, the students allegedly claimed that they should be having the ‘time of their lives’ and that officers were essentially ‘spoiling their fun’.”
In separate incident, another Nottingham Trent University student was given a £200 fine for ignoring warnings from officers at party in Blenheim Court student halls in St Ann’s.
A spokesperson for the university said: “We have repeatedly made clear to all students that they – like everyone – have a crucial role to play in limiting the spread of this virus. We know that the vast majority of our students respect the guidelines and advice. We will not tolerate any breaches, and where we have evidence of any breaches, we will always take immediate action under our disciplinary processes.”
Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said it was “absolutely right” that police took “swift and decisive action” given the high number of cases in Nottinghamshire.
He said: “These large fines send out a strong message that behaviour like this won’t be tolerated in Nottingham. I’d also like to thank our Community Protection officers for the vital work they are doing in partnership with police colleagues – this is a team effort.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.