Downing Street has stressed that coronavirus rules apply to all members of the public – including celebrities – after Rita Ora and Laurence Fox both broke lockdown rules at the weekend.
Singer Ora has apologised after hosting a birthday celebration on Saturday, while actor Fox has claimed that he had a ‘large group over to lunch’ and that they all hugged, as well as telling his 256k Twitter followers to ‘stay out’ and ‘protect your rights’.
In England, where a national lockdown is currently in place until Wednesday, December 2, people from separate households are not allowed to meet inside.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson has commented on both Ora and Fox’s flouting of the rules, saying in a statement via the PA news agency: ‘It’s important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules – that is for every member of the public including celebrities.’
Specifically on Ora, he said: ‘Throughout the pandemic we’ve been clear that it’s vital for everyone to abide by the rules in order to suppress the virus and reduce the transmission but enforcement matter is for the police.
Asked about Fox, the spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister has been clear of the need for everybody across the country to continue to abide by the rules in order to reduce the transmission of the virus, but it’s up to police to decide what action to take.’
Mr Johnson’s spokesman’s comment on Monday came as police were pictured at the restaurant that hosted Ora’s celebration, Casa Cruz in Notting Hill.
Met Police earlier confirmed they were called to reports of a potential breach of Covid-19 regulations in the area at around 9:10pm on Saturday.
Officers were also spotted outside the former X Factor star’s home in London this afternoon but it is believed to be unrelated to the lockdown breach.
According to a source, Ora has voluntarily paid a £10,000 fine to Kensington and Chelsea council for flouting the rules as a gesture of goodwill.
The Your Song singer celebrated her milestone 30th birthday at the West London restaurant along with pals such as Cara and Poppy Delevingne and Vas J Morgan in attendance.
She was initially reported to have had around 30 guests in attendance, but Metro.co.uk understands the number of party-goers was much smaller.
The gathering breached the current lockdown rules in England which state restaurants and pubs should be open for takeaway and delivery only, while people are not allowed to mix indoors or outside in groups larger than six.
She has since apologised for her actions, posting on Instagram on Monday: ‘Hello all, I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK…
‘I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.
‘I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe. Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.’
Meanwhile, former Lewis actor Fox faced a backlash online for a tweet in which he claimed to have had people over for a meal and for criticising the NHS.
‘Just had a large group over to lunch and we hugged and ate and talked and put the world to rights,’ he tweeted on Sunday.
‘It was lovely. You’ll never take that away from people. Stay out. Protect your rights.
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