UK police raided a wedding with at least 150 guests, a gathering that breached the COVID-19 lockdown rules.
Under current lockdown rules in England, weddings can only take place in “exceptional circumstances” with up to six people present.
However, officers from London’s Metropolitan Police force found hundreds of people packed into a school in Stamford Hill, north London, on Thursday.
The Yesodey Hatorah Girls School, which serves Haredi Jewish families in the area, home to the biggest Orthodox Jewish community in Europe.
The school’s windows had been covered to stop people from seeing inside.
The force said on Friday that “following enquiries it was established that the group had gathered at the location for a wedding”.
Many guests fled the scene as police arrived, but five were issued with £200 and the organiser could now be fined up to £10,000.
“This was a completely unacceptable breach of the law,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett.
“People across the country are making sacrifices by cancelling or postponing weddings and other celebrations and there is no excuse for this type of behaviour.”
The United Kingdom has recorded almost 95,000 COVID-19 deaths to date, the highest toll in Europe.
Coronavirus cases soared in the UK at the end of last year after the outbreak of a new, more contagious variant of the virus, which has led to the imposition of lockdowns across the UK.
The number of daily cases has fallen from a high of almost 70,000 on January 8 to just under 40,000 in recent days, but authorities are concerned that too many people are breaking the rules, meaning the virus keeps spreading.