Police broke up New Year illegal parties amid COVID restrictions in France and the UK. In France, eager partygoers ignored the government’s threats to strictly impose an 8 pm COVID curfew, with gatherings reported in Marseille and Brittany.
As many as 2,500 people attended an illegal rave party in Brittany, with many “coming from different departments (of France) and abroad,” according to the prefecture in Ille-et-Vilaine.
Several law enforcement officers were injured when partygoers threw stones and bottles at them. They tried to break up the event in Lieuron, south of Rennes, and a police vehicle was set on fire, it added.
In Marseille, police dispersed an illegal party with 300 people in attendance – over 150 of the revelers were fined for violating the country’s curfew, AFP cited police sources as saying.
Marseille’s public prosecutor, Dominique Laurens, said the event’s three presumed organizers were arrested and placed in police custody.
France has the fifth-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, with its total standing at 2.6 million.
The country has also seen over 64,000 deaths due to the virus.
Meanwhile, “COVID loves a crowd” was the phrase touted in the UK government’s advertising campaign emploring citizens to stay at home.
Despite the warnings to “see in the New Year safely at home,” some attended parties to ring in 2021.
British media reported mass gatherings in London, with police in the capital saying they shut down an event with around 70 to 100 people in attendance in Barking and Dagenham’s borough.
London is currently under England’s tightest COVID-19 restrictions – Tier 4 – which comes with the order to “stay at home,” meaning citizens cannot leave or be outside of the place they are living unless they have a reasonable excuse. Here.