Fine issued to funeral director after ‘clear and blatant breach’ of coronavirus rules


Outside Our Lady, Queen of Apostles on Woodhall Lane, Welwyn Garden City. - Credit: Supplied

A £10,000 COVID-19 fine has been handed to a funeral director in Mansfield following a bereavement service in Welwyn Garden City yesterday.    

On Thursday January 21, Herts police said they worked with partner agencies and the family in advance, in an attempt to ensure the safety of those attending and that of the wider public at Our Lady, Queen of Apostles on Woodhall Lane. 

Under lockdown rules, only 30 people are allowed to attend a funeral. Upon officer arrival, it was found that close to 150 people were actually in attendance.   

A 41-year-old man from Mansfield was issued with a £10,000 fine.   

READ MORE: Police attend funeral as residents voice concerns about 'social distancing'

Superintendent, Nick Caveney said: “This is a very difficult time for everyone, and whilst we completely understand that people would like to mourn their loved ones, we have to remember that the current circumstances are out of the ordinary and that we must adhere to the rules to keep each other safe.    

“This was a clear and blatant breach of the current restrictions, which are necessary in order to protect the NHS and help save lives.   

“We have issued a £10,000 fine to a funeral director from Mansfield for not managing this event correctly and advising their clients of the rules.   

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“We implore all business owners to ensure that they are they are following the restrictions safely and responsibly. Flagrant breaches of the restrictions such as this will not be tolerated in Hertfordshire.”   

Many residents locally expressed concerns about the funeral with one living locally claiming that restrictions back in July meant: "I had to attend a family member's funeral and we were only allowed 10 people. It's one rule for some and another for us. It just feels really unfair."   

Police say you should only leave home or travel for one of the permitted reasons set out in the ‘stay at home’ instruction. Exercise should be local and limited to once a day locally.

If you believe someone may be breaching the COVID-19 regulations, you can report information online, speak to an operator in the Force Communications Room via the online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101.

You can ask your local council to investigate a business or organisation for not following the Government's COVID-19 regulations by reporting it to them online.