You could now be fined £800 for attending a house party under new rules
Date published: 22 January 2021
Photo: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street
Home Secretary Priti Patel MP
The fine for anyone attending a house party with 15 or more people has been increased to £800, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Thursday (21 January).
These fines double for each repeat offence up to a maximum fine of £6,400 and will be introduced from next week.
Speaking during a Downing Street briefing, Ms Patel said: “As we have done throughout this pandemic, we are constantly reviewing our approach to ensure that we can crack down on the most serious cases of rule-breaking.
“And I can announce that next week we will be introducing a new £800 fine for those attending house parties, which will double for each repeat offence to a maximum level of £6,400.
“These fines will apply to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes.
“The science is clear: such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant threat to public - not only to those in attendance, but also to the wonderful police officers who attend to shut down these events.
“From the outset, we have given the police the necessary powers to enforce the rules, which are in place to stop the spread of the virus.
“As this latest measure demonstrates, we will not stand by while a small number of individuals put others at risk.”
Last weekend, Greater Manchester Police received the highest number of reports of Covid breaches since the middle of August 2020 (excluding New Year’s Eve).
Last week, the force issued 190 fines: of these, 87 were given out for house parties.
A statement issued by GMP says there has been an increase in the number of fines issued for house parties compared to the same period last month, despite stricter regulations: “Compared to the same period last month there has been a 16% increase and the fact that this month we are in tighter regulations, makes this increase even more worrying.
“There is also an increase in the number of people in attendance at each property, with an average of 15 or more people.
“This is not acceptable. Those in attendance are risking not only their own lives but also those of others and are putting extra pressure on an already struggling NHS.
“We would rather the public follow the rules than have to resort to issuing FPNs, but if we do get called to a blatant breach, which includes house parties, we will look to issue fines to not only the homeowner, but to all those in attendance.
“The regulations for Covid were introduced almost a year ago and we know this has been an extremely difficult period for everyone, but you must think of others. If you are invited to a house party don't attend, you are dangerously putting yourself and your family at risk.
“If you intend to host a house party please know that we continue to work with our partners to take action against those premises that repeatedly break the rules. Our partners have issued closure orders and civil injunctions against individuals across Greater Manchester to stop this reckless activity. There is a new variant of Covid that spreads more rapidly and it's vital we all do everything we can to stop the spread.
“The vaccines are being rolled out so the process of protecting everyone has started and a way back to a new sense of normality is in the pipeline. Hold off until we receive the all-clear from the government and let's work together to keep Greater Manchester safe.”
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