A semblance of calm returned to the streets of Belfast's student heartland as police used new powers to crack down on nights of mayhem.
Officers took full advantage of legislation allowing them to enforce Covid-19 regulations in the Holyland area of south Belfast in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Earlier the Department of Health had announced that regulations on the localised Covid-19 restrictions were now legally enforceable.
The PSNI issued seven Covid notices to young people and issued three prohibition notices at properties hosting parties in the Holyland that evening.
A 20-year-old male who had been previously arrested in the area on Tuesday night, was also arrested on suspicion of breaching bail and appeared before court yesterday morning.
Huge crowds of young people gathered in the area earlier in the week as the build up to the new university term continues.
Local residents and politicians pleaded with those involved in the anti-social behaviour to stop as fears grew over the possible spread of the virus.
Health Minister Robin Swann described the scenes as "deplorable" and said urgent action was needed by the authorities.
"It is vital that action on the ground is co-ordinated and effective," he said.
Mr Swann did not have to wait too long for a response as the PSNI made a concerted effort to put a stop to the street partying in the Holyland on Wednesday night and early yesterday morning.
The crowds were nowhere near the size of those earlier in the week with the majority of young people keeping a low profile. Many of those on the streets were merely observing the partying but a small number were openly drinking outside their properties, and along Agincourt Avenue.
Officers helped a young man home as he lay motionless beside the River Lagan shortly after 11pm before the crackdown on house parties began in earnest.
Police ordered several people in a property on King Street to step outside after it was discovered that the vast majority did not actually live in the house.
One young man was asked if he resided in the property but replied he was just visiting for the night.
After being reminded that he was breaking the regulations and that he could not stay in the house, he said: "We'll have to go get a hotel room for the night then if we can't stay here."
Empty beer tins and bottles, and broken glass, lined the footpaths and roads as the number of revellers began to steadily rise shortly before midnight.
Police Land Rovers with CCTV and spotlights, Belfast City Council wardens and a PSNI Covid-19 enforcement van roamed the Holyland area in an effort to make their presence felt.
Crowds began to build even further between midnight and 1am as many young people took their house parties out on to the street.
Many of those involved were happy to talk to this reporter but declined to comment on the lack of social distancing, street drinking and noise as the crowds became more and more rowdy.
Meanwhile, police officers wearing face masks and gloves continued to target properties which either had music pumping or a large number of people inside or outside.
Those who did not live in the homes were told in no uncertain terms to leave immediately.
It wasn't until 1.10am that the PSNI really made use of their new powers as Tactical Support Group (TSG) officers and local support officers made a concerted effort to clear Agincourt Avenue.
At least 15 officers moved from pocket to pocket of young people along the street, telling them it was home time - with the support of four PSNI Land Rovers.
Most of the young people involved took the advice on board and quietly headed for home around 1.40am.
Officers at the scene admitted it was a quieter night than usual and will be hoping it stays that way as the beginning of freshers week is just three days away.
Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said that details of students who are failing to follow the Covid-19 regulations will be shared with universities, who can then consider a range of sanctions.
"Once again, I am warning young people who have moved to the Holyland area and those who are visiting the area, you all share responsibility to adhere to the health protection regulations to protect themselves and others from Covid-19," he added.
"The young people congregating or travelling to this area really need to consider their actions for their own health and that of the community.
"A large number of people are acting responsibly but there are a few who continue to behave recklessly and are causing disruption for the local community."