A hotel manager who hosted a funeral party with 200 guests has been hit with a £10,000 fine for breaking coronavirus rules.
Castle Bromwich Hall in Solihull has also been banned from holding events until January next year following the large gathering on September 25.
The party was broken at around 9pm after people complained about the loud music coming from the hotel.
West Midlands Police said it was the first maximum fine they had issued since the new rules on social gatherings were implemented last month.
The force said the manager had previously been warned about breaching the Covid-19 legislation after a ‘number of events’ had already been held there with no measures in place for Track and Trace, social distancing or table service.
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On Monday, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council suspended the hotel owner’s personal licence pending review, with a full hearing set to take place later this month.
Solihull is one of four areas in the West Midlands under enhanced lockdown measures to control the spread of the virus.
The Government has been warning people in England to take restrictions seriously and recently hiked up fines as part of a string of measures to avoid a second national lockdown.
Gatherings of six or more people are banned across England, though a limit of 30 is allowed for funerals. Anyone caught breaking the rule of six can be fined a minimum of £200, though fines for illegal parties can be as much as £10,000.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Bell said: ‘We are living in difficult times and we understand people want to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed however we must all play our part to follow the rules which are in place to help stop the spread of the virus and to keep everybody safe.
‘We engaged with all those at the funeral gathering and explained why they needed to leave which they duly did.
‘It is the hotel manager who has been penalised for repeatedly organising events that breach the Covid-19 legislation; his actions have blatantly disregarded measures to keep people safe in a pandemic.
‘Businesses have a responsibility not only to their customers and their staff but to the wider community and there must be consequences when Covid-19 guidance is simply ignored.’
The officer said police would continue to patrol the streets for rule breaking and warned ‘we are taking a tougher stance on those breaching the restrictions’.
She said; ‘We understand that some of the regulations are confusing and we will be explaining where we find breaches, but if people continually flout these measures, we will not hesitate to take action.’
The owners of Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel can appeal against the council’s decision through the magistrates’ court.
The hotel said the manager no longer worked at the venue and it would not be commenting further.
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