Hotel manager who hosted funeral party for 200 guests fined £10,000 for breaching coronavirus lockdown
A HOTEL manager has been fined £10,000 for breaching coronavirus regulations after hosting a funeral party with more than 200 guests.
Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel in Solihull, West Mids, has been banned from holiday events until January next year after the large gathering on September 25.
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Police received nine calls to report the funeral party and loud music coming from the hotel. The party attendees were dispersed at 9pm.
West Midlands Police said it was the first maximum fine they had issued since the new rules were implemented.
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.
On Monday, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council were asked by police for an immediate suspension of the hotel owner's personal licence pending a full review, an application which was granted by the licensing panel.
The full hearing will take place later this month, police said.
The force said it would continue to focus on the four areas in the West Midlands under enhanced measures, Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Bell, who is leading the force's response to coronavirus, said we are “living in difficult times”.
She said: "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 senior officer continued: "Our officers continue to patrol transport hubs, retail outlets, education establishments, hospitality venues and open spaces to remind people of the measures in place, and issue fines to those breaching them.
"We are taking a tougher stance on those breaching the restrictions.
"These regulations are law and we will continue to issue fines to those found flouting them.
"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."
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