People who attend lockdown house parties face £800 fines

Home secretary Priti Patel during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-

Home secretary Priti Patel during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus. - Credit: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Anyone who attends a house party in England during lockdown will be fined £800, home secretary Priti Patel has announced.

She unveiled the new measures to try and stop the spread of coronavirus throughout the country

In a Downing Street press conference on Thursday afternoon the home secretary announced details of the new fine for those attending house parties during the Covid lockdown.

The new £800 fine will double for each repeat offence up to £6,400.

Organisers of house parties will be fined £10,000 as was already the case.

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The new £800 fine applies to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes.

Making the announcement the home secretary, who revealed there had been 1,290 deaths nationwide since yesterday, said: "Every death its a tragedy," she says but adds the sacrifices people are making is having an impact on the pandemic.

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However she says there are "a small minority who refuse to do the right thing".

"For them my message is clear - if you don't follow these rules then the police will enforce them."

She added: "The science is clear.

"Such irresponsible behaviour poses a threat to public health.

"Not only to those in attendance but also the wonderful police officers who shut them down.

"We will not stand by while a small number of individuals put others at risk."

Martin Hewitt, from the National Police Chiefs' Council, welcomed the announcement on fines.

He said house parties are "dangerous and irresponsible" and he hopes an increase in fines will act as a “disincentive” to people thinking of hosting or attending.

Mr Hewitt says the UK is still at the most dangerous stage of the pandemic, as the death figures remain “shocking”.

He says when police see anyone putting others in danger they "will not waste time trying to reason with them".

In October last year three University of East Anglia students were fined £10,000 each after throwing a party at a Norwich home attended by about 100 revellers.

Police were called to the address in Bowthorpe Road, Norwich, at around 1.10am on Sunday and broke up the party.

Two women, both 20, and a third woman, 19, who all lived at the address, were fined £10,000 each.

Meanwhile, more than 20 people were hit with fixed penalty notices after police shut down an illegal rave on New Year's Eve.

Mixing desks and a generator was among equipment seized by police following the discovery of the unlawful New Year's Eve event being set up in Norfolk, in contravention of coronavirus restrictions.

Police found out about the event on Hall Road, Ludham, shortly after 9.30pm on New Year's Eve.

Officers arrived on scene at 9.45pm and discovered approximately 60 people present in, what appeared to be, the early stages of an unlicensed music event being set up.

Roads accessing the area were blocked by police cars after officers went on to the site.

In total 24 people were issued with fixed penalty notices for being in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Two people were also reported for possession of drugs.

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