Police in London burst in on about 50 people smoking water pipes and playing loud music inside a cafe, a major breach of strict Covid-19 regulations banning any kind of socialising between people from different households.
The group fled when the police arrived, according to Reuters, but officers who searched the venue in Wembley found 21 hookah pipes lit and still warm. The owner of the shisha cafe faces a fine of £10,000.
“I completely appreciate that 2020 has been a tough year for many of us, but now is not the time for people to start getting relaxed about the rules that have been put in place to help slow and reduce the spread of this virus,” said Louis Smith of the Metropolitan Police in a statement.
Coronavirus infection rates are soaring in London, where a new variant of Covid-19 that is even more contagious is prevalent. Hospitals are reporting severe strain on their intensive care units, and schools in most of the capital have been ordered to close.