Police fine two men after breaking up illegal baby shower with 20 people
27 January 2021, 07:45 | Updated: 27 January 2021, 07:50
Coronavirus rule breakers have been fined for holding a baby shower for 20 people.
Two men have been fined for breaching coronavirus rules after police found 20 people at a baby shower in East London.
The organisers, aged 22 and 44, were each fined £200 after officers were forced to break up the party at a house in Hornchurch at around 6pm on Sunday.
Footage filmed by police shows adults, young children and teenagers sitting around a large table with balloons.
Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman from the Metropolitan Police said that while he understood people wanted to get together to celebrate, it ‘is definitely not the time’.
He said: “This gathering had people of widely different ages and from different households present.
“Whilst I fully understand that people want to get together to celebrate events, this is definitely not the time to do it in person.
"A gathering like this can have tragic consequences for all those involved and risks spreading this terrible virus to our loved ones and the wider community.
"Please have no doubt, we are determined to deal robustly with those who breach the COVID regulations in this way."
Under current lockdown rules in England, you cannot meet with anyone inside who is not a member of your household or support bubble.
You are allowed to exercise outside with one other person who you don’t live with, as long as you remain socially distanced.
This comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that anyone caught attending illegal house parties could face £800 fines.
The hefty penalty applies to anyone attending gatherings of 15 or more people, with fines doubling for each repeat offence.
Ms Patel told a press conference last week: “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 health. Not only to those in attendance but to our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down.”
Hosts of illegal parties are already eligible for a £10,000 fine.