The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions on Holding of Gatherings and Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 have been published and come into force today (Friday 28 August 2020), creating a new offence for holding (or being involved in holding) gatherings of more than 30 people.
This instrument introduces a new offence specifically for holding or being involved in the holding of, unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people. The offence will be punishable on summary conviction with a fine.
A higher Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £10,000 may be issued to a person aged 18 or over who is reasonably believed to have committed the offence; due to the serious public health risk that holding or being involved in the holding of these events poses.
This will apply to gatherings of more than 30 people indoors which would meet the definition of a rave in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 if they took place in open air. This will also apply to gatherings of over 30 people in private dwellings, on boats, or in public outdoor spaces that are not part of the premises of, or managed as a visitor attraction by, a business, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body.
The offence will be applicable to anyone who plays an active part in making the event happen, as well as the organiser, and will apply in the whole of England.
There will be a broad exemption to the public outdoor spaces prohibition and the boats prohibition for events organised by a business, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, public body or political body, where a risk assessment has been undertaken and steps have been put in place to limit transmission.