COVID-19: Home Office defends 'amazingly cringe' advert warning people not to go parties in lockdown

·1-min read

The government has defended an "amazingly cringe" lockdown advert after it was widely criticised online.

The Home Office posted the video on its social media channels on Wednesday with the caption: "All gatherings are currently against the law."

Accompanied by loud dance music, the seemingly low-budget clip cuts to slogans such as "you shouldn't go to parties" and "you shouldn't go to raves" in between footage of police officers breaking up illegal gatherings.

Under COVID-19 regulations, it is against the law to leave your home except for essential purposes. Anyone breaking the rules can be fined up to £10,000.

One piece of footage features a sign for the "COVID arms", before the words "you shouldn't make your own pub" appear on the screen.

It has received thousands of views, comments and shares, with many branding its clunky style "cringe", "terrible" and "a joke".

One Twitter user asked: "Was this tweet put together by a seven-year-old?"

While another joked: "Value for money for the UK taxpayer this."

Someone else wrote: "I want to know who told the Home Office about drum & bass. This is just surreal."

Others were quick to point out that, under coronavirus restrictions, people are still allowed to gather for essential purposes such as teaching vulnerable children at school and attending funerals.

But a Home Office spokesperson defended the clip.

"We make absolutely no apologies for encouraging people to follow the rules during a global pandemic," they said in a statement to Sky News.

"This video refers to illegal social gatherings which should not be taking place. Everyone has a part to play to help protect the NHS and save lives."