Hosts of New Year's Day wedding on farmland in Tier 4 in Surrey fined £10,000

HOSTS of a wedding in Surrey on New Year’s Day were fined £10,000 after police found dozens of people flouting coronavirus rules.

Officers on patrol in Kingswood spotted 30 vehicles parked near farmland.

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When questioned, someone living at the address, in Stubbs Lane, claimed they were filming a wedding party promotion.

However, when one of the cars attempted to leave the venue, they admitted that partygoers had gone there for a wedding. 

According to the official government guidelines, coronavirus restrictions for places in Tier 4 state that weddings must only take place with up to 6 people. 

The six people allowances includes the two people getting married and guests or witnesses.

Weddings in Tier 4 should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example urgent marriages where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or if they were due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

In Tier 1, 2 and 3 areas, up to 15 people, but no more, can attend a marriage, civil partnership or alternative wedding ceremony, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 venue.

Police set up a cordon around the venue to enable the cars to leave, whilst noting number plates and managing to disperse the majority of the guests.

Authorities then issued a £10,000 fixed penalty notice for holding a party and being in breach of Covid-19 regulations. 

The party took place in the Reigate and Banstead district of East Surrey where case numbers are already extremely high.

In the last week of December the district saw 592 cases per 100,000 when the average in England is 307.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Ali Barlow, responsible for local policing in Surrey, said: “We know that this remains a challenging time and that everyone is doing their best to adapt and follow the rules in place for everyone’s safety. 

“We appreciate that friends and family will want to come together for special occasions and we are grateful to the majority who are adhering to the restrictions and playing their part in keeping loved ones safe and therefore supporting our frontline health colleagues.

"Our well-established policing approach of engaging, educating and explaining remains the same. 

“However, where there are exceptional cases, only as a last resort and where people show a blatant disregard for the rules, we will take enforcement action.”

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