The Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced new fines for people breaching Coronavirus restrictions.
Speaking during a Downing Street Press Conference on Thursday evening, Ms Patel said “the sacrifices that millions of you are making day in, day out are starting to make a difference” but said, “there is still a small minority who refuse to do the right thing.”
Ms Patel announced that from next week, new fines will be introduced for people attending illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes. People attending such house parties could be fined by police, with the fine starting at £800 and doubling for each repeat offence up to a maximum level of £6,400.
Previously, a large fine of £10,000 was only given to those that organised illegal mass gatherings.
The Home Secretary said that the Government “will not stand by while a small number of individuals put others at risk”. During the press conference, Ms Patel also paid tribute to police forces and fire services for their “extraordinary contribution” during the pandemic.
An increase in restrictions or fines had been expected by some recently, due to some people not taking lockdown measures as seriously as in previous lockdowns. Coronavirus case rates have been falling across the country, however, hospital admissions and deaths from the virus remain high and rising.
On Thursday, a further 1,290 deaths were reported in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, while a further 37,892 positive virus cases were also reported. Over 5 million vaccine doses have now been given in the UK, while just under 5 million people have been given their first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19.