BASINGSTOKE residents breaking coronavirus rules to hold social getherings could now face a steeper fine as the government brings in tougher measures.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that individuals attending house parties will be fined a minimum of £800 from next week.

She told the Downing Street press conference: “Next week we will be introducing a new £800 fine for those attending house parties, which will double for each repeat offence to a maximum level of £6,400.

“These fines will apply to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes.

“The science is clear: such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant threat to public health. Not only to those in attendance but to our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down.”

It comes after a Basingstoke man was given a fixed penalty notice after holding a house party at the weekend.

The 27-year-old man, who has not been named by police, has been reported for summons in relation to a fixed penalty notice.

Police were called to Popley at the weekend after six people attended a house party - four of whom did not live at the address.

The revellers told officers that they were unaware of the pandemic because they "did not watch the news".