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200 people in Chelsea snub social-distancing rules

A group of ‘around 150 to 200’ people snubbed government rules on Tuesday to attend a funeral procession in Chelsea, west London.

Despite the UK government’s easing of restrictions this week, a large gathering met in Ixworth Place in Chelsea. It is claimed they refused to keep their distance and did not wearing any protective equipment, such as masks.

A witness said: ‘I work in an office and we are going in because we sell things online and we need to get the orders out. We went outside at 12pm and there was just this huge group of people, like 150 to 200 people all wearing black with a hearse.

‘They were playing music and had these purple balloons which they let off into the sky. They were there probably about half an hour.

‘But I just went downstairs for a cigarette and they’ve all come back. They’re having a kind of party on the street.

‘They’ve put chairs outside this house and they’ve pulled up their Boris bikes and are chatting amongst each other.

‘No social distancing whatsoever, no one is wearing masks and they’re having a kind of street party.’

A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: ‘Police were called at 15.08hrs on Tuesday, 12 May to Ixworth Place, SW3.

‘It was reported that 20 people were not social distancing following a funeral.

‘Officers attended, no offences disclosed and the group dispersed.’

Social distancing rules are strictly still in place with the coronavirus pandemic a serious threat which has killed more than 30,000 people in the UK.

Police are still closely monitoring the size of gatherings in outdoor places with the government announcing bigger fines for people who flout lockdown rules in England to increase to a minimum of £100 per offence from tomorrow.

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