The director of a restaurant in Kettering has been fined £5,000 after hosting a wedding in May 2021.
Wanda Trela-Pyzalska, director of the Tavern & Restaurant in Bath Road, Kettering, pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing at Wellingborough Magistrates in early January.
In April 2021, the venue applied to North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) to host a wedding at the premises on 15 May 2021. Such events were prohibited by the Covid regulations that were in place at the time and NNC confirmed that to the applicant. She was asked to provide more information to NNC, but withdrew the application on 20 April.
On 15 May, an officer from NNC visited the premises with two officers from Northamptonshire Police, who witnessed a wedding celebration taking place on the first floor of the premises. One of the police officers counted 27 people in attendance.
They informed the owner that the celebration was in breach of Covid regulations and on request, the guests agreed to leave the premises and sit outside in groups of no more than six people. The owner also agreed to close the premises by 10pm that evening.
Trela-Pyzalska was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine, costs of £1050 and a victim surcharge of £190.
Councillor David Brackenbury, NNC's executive member for growth and regeneration, said: "We are aware that the hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and the rules have been difficult, but the legislation in place at the time was clear and there to protect both staff and customers and minimise risk of spreading the virus."
Assistant chief constable Simon Blatchly, from Northamptonshire Police, added: "The rules around large gatherings were very clear at the time of this offence and had been shared with the business prior to this event.
"We know the vast majority of businesses abided by the law during the pandemic, particularly when the risk to public health was high, and so it's right that those people who so flagrantly broke the law are pursued in the courts."