Singer Rita Ora apologises for breaking lockdown rules with party

Rita Ora on stage at the Avicii Tribute Concert For Mental Health Awareness at Friends Arena in Stockholm
FILE PHOTO: Rita Ora on stage at the Avicii Tribute Concert For Mental Health Awareness at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden December 5, 2019. TT News Agency/Erik Simander via REUTERS

November 30, 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – British pop star Rita Ora apologised on Monday after she admitted she had attended a party to celebrate her 30th birthday which broke England’s strict COVID-19 lockdown laws.

Ora said she had gone to a “small gathering with some friends” which the Sun newspaper said was held at a restaurant in west London on Saturday night with 30 people in attendance.

Under the lockdown rules, people in England are not allowed to mix with other households indoors and can meet one person outside. Restaurants have been closed except for takewaways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“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,” Ora said in a statement on Instagram Stories.

“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.”

Police said officers had been called to reports of breach of COVID rules but had not found any offence being committed.

“Officers continue to assess the allegations and are liaising with the local authority regarding a potential breach of regulations at the premises,” police said in a statement.

The BBC reported that Ora was voluntarily paying a fine.

(Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Estelle Shirbon)