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Police break up wedding reception with 100 guests breaking Covid rules

Police break up wedding reception with 100 guests and fine organiser at another where more than 50 gathered under a marquee for breaking Covid rules

  • Police broke up a wedding reception of over 100 guests on Sunday in Blackburn
  • A fixed penalty notice was issued to organiser of another wedding in Manchester
  • Both areas are subject to local coronavirus rules, which ban wedding receptions
  • Were you attending one of these wedding receptions? Send your story to [email protected]

Police broke up a wedding reception of more than 100 people at the weekend and fined another wedding organiser, after they were found to be breaking coronavirus restrictions.

Officers in Blackburn broke up a wedding reception with more than 100 guests in attendance on Sunday evening, as the gathering breached lockdown rules.

This comes as a fixed penalty notice was also issued to an organiser of a wedding with more than 50 guests and a marquee in Greater Manchester.

Both areas are subject to local restrictions to prevent people socialising with other households.

Police broke up a wedding reception with 100 guests in attendance in Blackburn over the weekend, as another wedding organiser was fined in Greater Manchester (file photo)

On Facebook, Blackburn and Darwen Police said the incident was ‘disappointing’ but added that the gathering was dispersed without any further issue

In a Facebook post, Blackburn and Darwen Police said officers engaged with those attending the wedding reception and the gathering was dispersed without any further issue.

The post said: ‘This is a clear breach of both local and national restrictions that puts everyone attending at risk.’ 

Police added that the incident was ‘disappointing’ and asked the public to continue to work with authorities to keep ‘everyone safe’.

Blackburn has local lockdown laws in place to curb a rapid rise in coronavirus cases, preventing people from visiting other households in their homes or private gardens.

Wedding receptions are currently banned in Blackburn under the new rules, with wedding ceremonies only permitted with a maximum of 30 guests.

The Manchester wedding, which took place in Whalley Range, was one of 54 reported coronavirus breaches between 3pm and 11pm on Sunday in Greater Manchester, police said.

Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Pilling said: ‘Following large gatherings on both Friday and Saturday night, we have had to attend further events yesterday evening.

‘We’ve been really open with the public about the pressure these calls place on already stretched and limited resources and I really need people to understand what is at stake here.

‘Can you imagine a vulnerable loved one not being able to get through to 999 when in an emergency, because our phone lines are tied up with people reporting illegal parties? It’s this serious.’ 

A fixed penalty notice was issued to an organiser of a wedding with more than 50 guests and a marquee in Greater Manchester, as the gathering broke strict local lockdown rules (file photo)

Local lockdown restrictions will remain in Greater Manchester for at least another week as evidence does not show a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the area.

The rules state that residents are not allowed to visit someone else’s home or garden or socialise with people they do not live with in other indoor spaces. 

Wedding receptions and ceremonies are also not yet allowed to resume, as exhibition and conference centres also remain closed.

DCC Pilling added: ‘I feel we’ve been really fair with the public, engaging and explaining with them and only enforcing as a last resort.

‘However, these blatant breaches continue and we owe it to our communities to thoroughly investigate these types of reports and prosecute those involved. We will continue to enforce when there is a blatant disregard for the rules.

‘We understand that the vast majority of people across Greater Manchester are doing the right thing and it’s incredibly disappointing that these people are being continuously let down by a small majority, who are selfishly flouting the very guidance that is there to keep us safe. I want to thank those who are doing their bit.’

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