A wedding in London that violated the U.K. lockdown was broken up by police on Thursday night, officials said.
At first, the Metropolitan Police said that 400 people attended the wedding, but the force later revised the number to 150.
Currently, a maximum of six guests are allowed to attend weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, according to the U.K. coronavirus lockdown guidance. However, those ceremonies should only happen “in exceptional circumstances,” such as if one partner has a terminal illness.
Police said they were called to the London neighborhood of Stamford Hill on Thursday night with reports of a large gathering at a school.
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“The group had gathered for a wedding and had taken a number of steps to mask their activity, covering up windows and closing gates,” Metropolitan Police said in a release.
The Yesodey Hatorah Secondary Girls School in the Stamford Hill neighborhood of London is pictured. Police said that they broke up a wedding attended by 150 people despite a nationwide lockdown at the school Thursday night. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP, File)
According to police, the wedding organizer is facing a £10,000 (about $13,685 USD) fine and five other attendees have been given £200 (about $274 USD) “fixed penalty notices.”
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The venue was the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School, a state-funded Orthodox Jewish high school, whose principal died from the coronavirus in April last year.
In a statement, the school said it was “absolutely horrified about last night’s event and condemn(s) it in the strongest possible terms.”
The school said its hall had been leased to an outside organization and “we had no knowledge that the wedding was taking place.”
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U.K. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis also condemned the rule-breaking event.
“At a time when we are all making such great sacrifices, it amounts to a brazen abrogation of the responsibility to protect life and such illegal behaviour is abhorred by the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community,” he tweeted Friday.
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Pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues in Britain are closed, and people are required to stay largely at home, as part of restrictions to curb a new surge in the virus. The U.K. has recorded more than 95,000 COVID-19 deaths, the highest toll in Europe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.