LONDON, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) — British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Thursday announced a new fine of 800 pounds (about 1,097 U.S. dollars) for attending house parties in England in order to curb surging coronavirus infections.
The new measure applies to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes. Any each repeat offence will be fined for up to 6,400 pounds (about 8,774 dollars), Patel said at a virtual press briefing at the Downing Street.
Organizers will be fined up to 10,000 pounds (about 13,708 dollars), according to the existing rules.
“The science is clear. Such irresponsible behaviour poses a threat to public health,” Patel said.
“We will not stand by while a small number of individuals put others at risk,” she said.
Joining Patel for the press briefing, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Martin Hewitt, welcomed Patel’s announcement.
House parties are “dangerous and irresponsible”, Hewitt said, adding that he hopes an increase in fines will serve as a “disincentive” to people considering such behaviors.
The latest announcement came as another 37,892 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,543,646, according to official figures released Thursday.
Another 1,290 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 94,580, the data showed.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.