Government Announces New £800 Fine For Those Who Attend House Parties
Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced a new £800 fine for those who flout coronavirus rules by attending house parties, as part of the government's bid to 'crack down on most serious cases of rule breaking'.
Speaking at today's government coronavirus briefing today - where she was joined by Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, and Dr Vin Diwakar, NHS England's regional medical director for London - Patel said: "Next week we will be introducing a new £800 fine for those attending house parties, which will double for each repeat offence up to a maximum level of £6,400.
"These fines will apply to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes."
Patel said that the 'sacrifices that millions' were making are 'starting to make a difference', but that there is 'still a small minority who refuse to do the right thing'.
She continued: "The science is clear. Such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant threat to public health, not only to those in attendance, but also to our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down.
"From the outset we have given police the necessary powers to enforce the rules, which are in place to stop the spread of this virus, and as these latest measures will demonstrate, we will not stand by while a small number of individuals put others at risk."
The latest government figures show that there have been a further 1,290 deaths and 37,892 cases, while 4,973,248 people have received their first dose of a vaccine.
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Earlier this week, Patel warned that the government would not consider lifting measures until vaccine priority groups have received their jabs.
Speaking to Sky News, she said: "We are at a pivotal stage. Our vaccine rollout is under way but we have a long way to go with vaccination.
"We cannot talk about easing restrictions and measures until we are absolutely clear we have vaccinated priority groups."
Boris Johnson has said it's simply 'too early' to know when restrictions may ease, as the government is still trying to examine the contagiousness of the new variant.
In an interview with ITV, when he was asked if restrictions were likely to ease in 'summer, rather than spring', Johnson explained: "I think it's too early to say when we'll be able to lift some of the restrictions,"
"We'll look then [February 15] at how we're doing but I think what we're seeing in the ONS data, in the React survey, we're seeing the contagiousness of the new variant that we saw arrive just before Christmas - there's no doubt it does spread very fast indeed.
"It's not more deadly but it is much more contagious and the numbers are very great."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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