Kent Police are urging people to remember the Covid-19 rules over the festive period and not arrange or attend parties that risk further infection.
With the county currently in Tier 3 and facing the highest level of coronavirus restrictions, officers are keen to ensure everyone continues to do the right thing to help control the virus and ultimately save lives.
Seven people, all from Canterbury, have been issued with £10,000 fines to date for hosting parties attended by far in excess of 30 people, and a number of other residents across Kent have also been fined for arranging smaller gatherings in breach of the existing legislation.
While Kent remains in Tier 3, no household mixing is allowed either indoors or outside, pubs and restaurants must remain closed except for deliveries and takeaways, and people are advised against travelling into other regions.
Exceptions will be allowed between 23rd and 27th December when everyone will be allowed to form one Christmas bubble of up to three households.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix told SFM News: "If 2020 were a normal year then many people’s diaries for December would be full of parties, Christmas drinks and other opportunities to meet up with family, friends and colleagues. Unfortunately it has been far from normal, and the threat of Covid-19 has not gone away. It therefore remains essential that we all continue to follow the rules to ensure we do not put ourselves or others at further risk of contracting a disease that has killed more than a million people worldwide. There will come a time when we will all be able to attend parties like we did before the pandemic struck, but that time is not now and Kent Police officers will not hesitate to take action against those who flagrantly break the rules and put other people’s lives at risk. We will continue to police in a sensible, proportionate and fair manner, and ask that everyone continues to take personal responsibility for controlling the spread of the virus and protecting themselves and others from harm."