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Rita Ora 'deeply sorry' for hosting lockdown-breaking birthday party
30 November 2020, 07:14 | Updated: 28 January 2021, 06:36
Singer Rita Ora has apologised for breaking lockdown rules after she hosted a 30-person birthday party on Saturday, saying she is "embarrassed" and "deeply sorry."
The pop star is reported to have brought together at least 30 friends to celebrate her 30th birthday at a restaurant in Notting Hill, and the group "partied until the early hours", according to the Sun.
Apologising for her actions, Ms Ora said in a statement on her Instagram: "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."
She continued: "This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgement. 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."
It has also been reported that she paid a £10,000 fine over the event.
Downing Street has also addressed the incident with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman singling the party out and stating: "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.
"It’s important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules – that is for every member of the public including celebrities."
It comes as the government urged the public to abide by national restrictions for the final week of lockdown before the strengthened Tier system is introduced.
In pictures published in the newspaper, celebrity friends including the Delevingne sisters and TOWIE star Vas Morgan are seen entering the venue in west London.
Later in the evening, police were seen outside the venue, peering in the windows and attempting to open a door.
A source told the Sun: "There were a number of guests, all dressed up very glamorously, and everyone entered the building through the back, with security watching the front to make sure no one else went in. It went on until the early hours."
The restaurant's director Nicholas Fallows told The Sun that he hadn't been aware of any event on Saturday night and the restaurant was "owned by shareholders".
The Met Police confirmed they had been called out on Saturday night to reports of a potential Covid-19 regulations breach in the area.
Current government guidelines say that people must "minimise the time spent outside their home" and avoid meeting others who they do not live with.
Guidelines brought in with the national lockdown on November 5 also state that people must "not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household, meaning the people you live with, or your support bubble".
People should also avoid physical contact; being close and face-to-face; and shouting or singing close to others who do not share a home with you or who are not in the same support bubble.
Restaurants are also closed for everything except takeaway, with any breaking of these guidelines possibly ending up with a fine.
All hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals and must stop taking orders at 10pm and close by 11pm, according to the government.