Police who raided an illegal birthday celebration found a four-piece band ready to play for up to 30 guests.
Having entered a disused shop in Birmingham officers found 24 people packed into the tiny venue. They believe more would have arrived had they not cracked down on the celebration so early in the night.
Lockdown rules prevent all public gatherings from taking place and people must only leave home for essential reasons, exercise, or to meet one other person outside to socialise.
Buffet tables were laid out with food and drinks and a set of keyboards and several guitars were found in the corner of the room.
Police issued 12 £200 fines to the party guests and six £1,000 fines to the band members and two organisers.
#WATCH | A poker party in a pub and a birthday bash complete with a four-piece band – just two of the major #coronavirus breaches we’ve fined people for, as we warn people not to be tempted to stray from the rules despite #lockdown being eased.
More ➡️ https://t.co/yQSQclbC7i pic.twitter.com/A7OAaSi9FI
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) March 12, 2021
The following evening officers were alerted to an illegal poker party taking place at a pub nearby.
When officers entered The Station pub, in the Kings Heath area of the city, they were told "nobody has organised this - just friendly games", but soon after everyone present handed over their details when they were threatened with arrest.
Around 20 people were issued with £800 fines on the night.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said in a statement: “Our officers take absolutely no pleasure from breaking up these gatherings and handing out fines – but they know it’s the right thing to do.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve got a roadmap out of lockdown, and that the vaccination programme appears to be progressing so well, but it’s vital we don’t blow it by relaxing too early.
“Our approach to policing the pandemic will move in line with the restrictions.
"We’re still several weeks away from 21 June, which is the earliest possible date that all legal limits on social contact could end.
“Between now and then, it’s vital that we stay focused on reducing contact and stopping the spread of the virus.
“We’ll continue to do our bit – and all we ask is that you help us."
Having posted a video of the raids on the forces official Twitter page, a message followed reading: "Thank you to everyone who's doing their bit and sticking to the rules. Let's keep going."
On Friday the Office for National Statistics published a report confirming that infection rates of coronavirus are dropping in England. However, in areas including the West Midlands, where the parties were reported, the data was classified as "uncertain", meaning it is not known whether rates are yet slowing or decreasing.
On Monday all schools in England reopened for all pupils, but the next level of lockdown relaxations will not take place until March 29 when it will be allowed to meet up to six people outdoors, including in public gardens.
Boris Johnson has set out his 'roadmap' of easing the country out of lockdown, but has said that 21 June will be the earliest date at which all restrictions could be lifted.
Watch: What you can and can't do during UK's third lockdown