The UK government has announced a new £800 ($1,096) fine for people who attend house parties in breach of CCP virus restrictions.
The fine, which will be introduced next week, will apply to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Thursday at a press conference held in Downing Street.
We’re introducing a new £800 fine for those attending 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬.
This will double for each repeat offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
At this crucial time, please stay home.
Protect the NHS. Save lives. pic.twitter.com/Y4zNBhmZAz
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) January 21, 2021
The penalty will double for each repeat offence to a maximum level of £6,400 ($8,772), she said.
On Jan. 6, Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the whole of England under the third national lockdown since the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic began last spring. The purpose of the latest lockdown is to stem the spread of the new variant, which he said has a faster rate of transmission than the old variant.
Under the new restrictions, people may only leave home for limited reasons, such as to shop for essentials, to work if they can’t work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance, or to escape domestic abuse.
Johnson said earlier on Thursday that it is still “too early” to say when the lockdown measures will be eased.
“By staying at home, you are helping to keep those you care about safe, and contributing to this national effort,” Patel told reporters.
“But there is still a small minority who refuse to do the right thing. To them, my message is clear: if you do not follow these rules, then the police will enforce them.
“Police officers are now moving more quickly to handing out fines when they encounter breaches, and they have my absolute backing in doing so,” she warned.
According to Public Health England, 37,892 new cases and 1,290 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported across the UK on Thursday.
On Thursday 21 January 2021, 37,892 new cases and 1,290 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported across the UK.
— Public Health England (@PHE_uk) January 21, 2021
That brought the total UK death toll from the CCP virus to 94,580, Patel said.
But she said the “fantastic” vaccine roll-out was making “good progress,” with 200 jabs being delivered per minute.
As of Thursday, a total of 4,973,248 people across the UK have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, she said.
Simon Veazey and Reuters contributed to this report.