No 10 lockdown breaches: Met police expected to issue first fines (The Guardian)

The Guardian: No 10 lockdown breaches: Met police expected to issue first fines. “The first fines for lockdown breaches in Downing Street are expected to be issued imminently after Scotland Yard concluded that laws were broken at the heart of government, sources have told the Guardian. Multiple government insiders said the Metropolitan police had made referrals for the first tranche of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) connected with parties and gatherings being investigated by police in No 10 and the Cabinet Office.”

BBC: Nobody warned me drinks event was against rules – Boris Johnson

BBC: Nobody warned me drinks event was against rules – Boris Johnson. “Boris Johnson has “categorically” denied he was warned a drinks party in the No 10 garden risked breaking lockdown rules. ‘Nobody warned me that it was against the rules,’ the prime minister said, adding: ‘I would have remembered that.’ Former aide Dominic Cummings says he warned Mr Johnson at the time, and has accused him of misleading MPs about it.”

COVID-19: What parties are alleged to have taken place in Whitehall and Downing Street during lockdown (Sky News)

Sky News: COVID-19: What parties are alleged to have taken place in Whitehall and Downing Street during lockdown . “An investigation has been launched into a number of the alleged events that took place in Whitehall and Downing Street while COVID-19 rules were in force. It was originally supposed to be led by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case. But he has since been forced to recuse himself from heading the investigation after it was revealed a Christmas event was held in his own private office in December 2020. The inquiry is now being led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, a former government ethics chief.”

ITV: Email proves Downing Street staff held drinks party at height of lockdown

ITV: Email proves Downing Street staff held drinks party at height of lockdown. “Downing Street staff were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden during the height of nationwide lockdown to “make the most of the lovely weather”. An email shared exclusively with ITV News provides the first evidence of a party on May 20, 2020, when the rest of the country was banned from meeting more than one other person outdoors.”

Bloomberg: Hong Kong birthday bash lands 30 officials in quarantine

Bloomberg: Hong Kong birthday bash lands 30 officials in quarantine. “All of the approximate 100 guests at a celebration thrown for a representative of a mainland Chinese agency were being sent to the quarantine camp in Penny’s Bay, local media reported Friday. Some of Hong Kong’s most senior politicians — along with more than 20% of its new ‘patriots-only’ legislature — will be confined to 20-square-meter rooms with no wifi access, just as the government fights an outbreak of the infectious omicron variant.:

CBC: Passengers on Sunwing party plane could face jail time, thousands in fines

CBC: Passengers on Sunwing party plane could face jail time, thousands in fines. “A group of Quebec influencers and reality show stars could be facing thousands of dollars in fines, after videos surfaced showing them partying without masks on board a Sunwing flight from Montreal to Cancun. Images from the Dec. 30 flight showed passengers ignoring public health measures, jumping and dancing in the aisle, vaping and openly passing around a bottle of hard liquor on the plane. In one video, a person could be seen crowd-surfing while the plane was in the air.”

Daily Beast: Outrage as Israel’s Political Elite Test Positive for COVID After Lavish New Year’s Eve Rave

Daily Beast: Outrage as Israel’s Political Elite Test Positive for COVID After Lavish New Year’s Eve Rave. “Israelis badly needed to let off some steam, and New Year’s Eve, last Friday, provided an outlet, even if that meant that some of the nation’s top officials ignored regulations in place aimed at tamping COVID-19 infections. The most visible official whose flouting of the rules was disclosed by Instagram—in this case the account of his own husband, pop star Harel Skaat—is Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll.”

Coronavirus: Dutch police raid rave party in breach of Covid-19 rules (AFP)

AFP: Coronavirus: Dutch police raid rave party in breach of Covid-19 rules. “Dutch police on Saturday broke up a rave in breach of Covid-19 rules that was attended by hundreds in a disused factory, local media reported. Dozens of police officers entered the makeshift venue in the central town of Rijswijk with hundreds more officers mobilised to shepherd people away, NOS television said. Several partygoers were arrested but there was no violence, according to local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland.”

New Year’s Eve around the world: How countries celebrated with widespread COVID restrictions (Sky News)

Sky News: New Year’s Eve around the world: How countries celebrated with widespread COVID restrictions. “New Year’s Eve plans have largely been muted or cancelled for the second straight year due to a surge in coronavirus infections – this time driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant. However, many nations made the best of it and went ahead with extravagant fireworks displays and celebrations. Here’s a snapshot from around the world.”

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Auckland Christmas partygoers urged to get tested immediately (New Zealand Herald)

New Zealand Herald: Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Auckland Christmas partygoers urged to get tested immediately. “Partygoers who attended an Otara Christmas party are being asked to self-isolate and immediately get tested after a guest tested positive for Covid-19. A Christmas party held on Thursday December 23 at East Tamaki Community Hall in Otara has been identified as a new location of interest. Anyone who attended this party has been identified as a close contact.”