According to UK COVID lockdown rules, weddings can only take place in ‘exceptional circumstances’ with up to six people.
British police said they broke up a marriage with nearly 400 guests, a rally that represented a major violation of COVID-19 lockdown rules.
Under current foreclosure rules in England, weddings can only take place in ‘exceptional circumstances’ with up to six people present.
However, London Metropolitan Police officers found hundreds of people crammed into a school in Stamford Hill, north London, on Thursday evening. The windows of the school had been covered to prevent people from seeing inside.
The force said on Friday that “following investigations, it was established that the group had gathered at the scene for a wedding.”
Many guests fled the scene when police arrived, but five were fined 200 pounds ($ 273). The event organizer could now be fined up to 10,000 pounds ($ 13,672).
“This was a completely unacceptable violation of the law,” said Detective Superintendent Marcus Barnett.
“People across the country are making sacrifices canceling or postponing weddings and other celebrations and there is no excuse for this type of behavior.
The wedding took place at the Yesodey Hatorah Girls’ School, which serves Haredi Jewish families in the region, home to Europe’s largest Orthodox Jewish community.
“We are absolutely horrified by last night’s event and condemn it in the strongest terms,” the school said in a statement. An outside organization was responsible for renting her hall and she had no knowledge of the marriage, the school said.
‘A shameful desecration’
UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, meanwhile, said in a Twitter post that the illegal event was “a shameful desecration of everything we hold dear” and such behavior is “abhorred by the ‘overwhelming majority of the Jewish community’.
Al Jazeera’s Neave Barker, who reports from London, said that many members of the Haredi community “don’t watch television, listen to the radio, and don’t follow the mainstream media, and therefore rely heavily on the message reaching them through community leaders, elders or even rabbis ”.
“The last thing the authorities want to do in any way is stigmatize one community over another,” he said. “The motivation is really, according to the government, to try to encourage people to make their own police. [communities]. “
Coronavirus cases exploded in the UK late last year after the outbreak of a new, more contagious variant of the virus, which led to lockdowns being imposed across the UK.
The number of daily cases has fallen from nearly 70,000 on January 8 to just under 40,000 in recent days, but authorities fear too many people are breaking the rules, meaning the virus continues to spread.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Thursday warned those who violated lockdown restrictions risked police punishment and announced a new fine of 800 pounds ($ 1,094) for those attending house parties.
The government, police and health chiefs have all expressed frustration that laws on social distancing and mixed households are still being flouted.
Vin Diwakar, National Health Service England’s regional medical director for London, on Thursday compared people at risk of the close contact spread of the virus to “turning on the lights during the Blitz”.
The UK has so far recorded almost 95,000 deaths from COVID-19, the highest death toll in Europe.