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Covid-19 Restrictions: Large Gatherings

Volume 696: debated on Monday 7 June 2021

We continue to work closely with the police to provide them with the powers, support and resources they need to ensure compliance with the coronavirus regulations. We have quadrupled the penalties for those attending illegal indoor gatherings of more than 15 people in England, and have created a fine regime to ensure that we can absolutely enforce the regulations and that people are following the rules.

Despite clear guidance on large gatherings last month, hundreds of cars and spectators descended on my Southport constituency for an illegal car meet-up that involved cars travelling at excessive speeds. Will my right hon. Friend do everything she can to ensure that these events are stopped and that the organisers of such events receive the maximum penalty?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right; these breaches are serious, as are some of the practices that we have seen with illegal car rallies. He will understand that the policing powers and the operational decisions on how these rallies are tackled are very much with the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner, but of course the police have the necessary powers. There are also road traffic offences that can and should be applied when they are committed. I am sorry to say that we have seen far too many of these rallies recently and they are in breach of the covid regulations.