As the first month of new lockdown restrictions ended, it’s evident that many Londoners are still refusing to follow the rules.
This weekend (January 29 to 31) Metropolitan Police busted several extravagant parties in London with dozens of guests that were in blatant breach of lockdown restrictions.
Since Friday, January 29 partygoers are at risk of being fined £800 for attending gatherings of more than 15 people.
The restaurant on Chiswick High Road, which has not been named by police, was attended by officers at 10.38pm on Friday (January 29) following reports of a party.
They discovered more than 30 people gathering at the restaurant in breach of a number of coronavirus restrictions.
Police confirmed that just 15 people from the party were issued with fixed penalty notices, but the owner has been reported for a £10,000 fine for hosting the event.
The following day, police broke up a huge party on a boat in Ealing.
On Saturday (January 30), just after 11pm, police were alerted to the party which is believed to have been organised on social media.
The gathering took place on a boat moored at the back of Powergate Business Park industrial estate on Volt Avenue, North Acton.
A total of 72 people were at the party, all of which have been reported for the new £800 fine.
The owner was also identified and could face a £10,000 fine.
West Area Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Bowen said: “This was a blatant breach of the Coronavirus rules that are in place to save lives and protect the huge pressure on the NHS.
“All the people who attended this event, which appears to have been organised on social media, have quite rightly been reported for the consideration of fines.
“The Met will continue to shut down and disperse events such as this, which risk spreading a virus that has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in this country.”
Police in North Wales have also blasted motorists who travelled from London to Snowdonia over the weekend, driving over 200 miles despite the national lockdown.
North Wales Police Intercept Team posted on social media to say: “Unfortunately Snowdonia National Park is still closed to visitors from afar, Wales is still under level 4 restrictions,” North Wales Live reports.
“This means if you drive from London to Snowdon like these people did this afternoon you will be fined.
“Ignorance isn’t a defence, the rules have been spread far and wide but yet people still choose to put others at risk.
“Snowdonia will still be here after we beat the virus.”
Back in the capital, on Thursday (January 28) it was reported that a Newham shisha bar was forced to close for three months after repeatedly breaking Covid-19 rules.
The Essence Shisha Bar in Plaistow was ordered to close after council officers and police caught the venue being operated as normal.
Newham Council said they “visited the venue on numerous occasions and found it to be running a non-essential business, including non-compliance of wearing face masks or social distancing.”
The venue was found to have committed more than one “major breach of Covid-19 restrictions.”
Any chance of the venue re-opening after lockdown will be dependent on it following the rules in the meantime.
Superintendent Ian Brown said: “It is totally unacceptable that this business has continue to flout the law, putting lives at risk and increasing the risk of infections as this deadly virus continues to spread.
“Most businesses are doing the right thing to protect their customers and local communities during the pandemic, but we will work with our borough partners to ensure that those who flout the rules will face consequences.”
It is hoped that this new increased fine of £800 for attendees of large gatherings will go further to deter people from hosting and going to parties during lockdown.
Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s lead for Covid-19 enforcement, said: “If you are planning on attending an illegal gathering, party or rave this weekend you are not only taking a very serious health risk but also a much bigger financial risk.
“I hope that these increased fines will discourage some of the events we’ve seen in recent weeks – events which are no doubt adding to the already huge pressure on our health services and potentially leading to avoidable deaths.”