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Covid-19 rules breaches: Wedding reception venue and music event organiser given £1,000 fixed penalty notices

Police who broke up a wedding reception in Hertfordshire where an estimated 100 guests were gathered, in breach of coronavirus restrictions, have issued a £1,000 fixed penalty notice (FPN) to the venue.

A £1,000 FPN was also slapped on the organiser of a music event in the county which attracted an estimated 50 people.

Both events took place the weekend before the second lockdown began. At the time, the law stated that wedding ceremonies and receptions must consist of no more than 15 guests and that other gatherings outside the home must not exceed six people.

On Saturday October 31, police broke up the wedding reception at an unidentified venue in Northaw, near Potters Bar. In the early hours of Sunday November 1, officers were sent to a location off London Road in Hemel Hempstead, where they seized music equipment. The crowds at both events were dispersed and given individual warnings.

The reception venue and the music event organiser were issued with their £1,000 FPNs on Tuesday (Nov 17). A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "We have chosen not to name the recipients of the FPNs at this stage of enforcement."

Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls, who is leading Hertfordshire police's response to the virus, said: “Since these events took place, we have entered a second lockdown, which is clear evidence that we need to continue to do all we can to prevent further spread of this deadly virus. The grave truth is, these restrictions are in place to save lives.

“There will be a time in the future when we can enjoy weddings, parties, concerts and gatherings unfettered by social distancing and a pandemic which I know has curtailed our way of life for many months now. But please, I urge you to play your part and respect the lockdown measures.

“We will continue to conduct regular patrols to ensure that the Government regulations are being adhered to. Officers are visiting businesses, transport hubs, parks, schools and responding to Covid-related calls to addresses in the area.

“I want to make it crystal clear that Hertfordshire Constabulary will not tolerate serious cases of disregard to law, and as both these examples clearly show, those intent on ignoring it will be dealt with and educated without hesitation.”

If you believe someone is breaching Covid-19 regulations, you can report information online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in the force communications room via an online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call 101.

You can ask your local council to investigate a business or organisation for not following the Government's Covid-19 regulations by reporting it to them online. Please ensure you understand GOV.UK’s guidance before you report a possible breach via your borough or district council.

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