The singer Rita Ora has apologised for breaching lockdown rules by holding a “small” gathering with friends for her 30th birthday.
Ora admitted a “serious and inexcusable error of judgment” after celebrating with friends at a restaurant in Notting Hill, west London, on Saturday night.
The Metropolitan police confirmed officers were called to reports of a potential breach of Covid regulations in the area at 9.10pm on Saturday. It is unclear whether any formal action has been taken over the breach.
In a post on Instagram Stories, Ora said: “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. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment. 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.”
The Sun, which first reported the story, said Ora attended the party at Casa Cruz restaurant with “more than 30 people”.
Images showed Ora arriving at the restaurant along with a number of other people, including the models Cara and Poppy Delevingne.
Under England’s national lockdown, which ends on Tuesday, it is against the law to meet more than one person you do not live with except in specific circumstances. Police have the power to break up gatherings and issue fines of up to £10,000 for breaches of the regulations, which are underpinned by the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Photographs published by the Sun showed two police officers appearing to look through the windows of the restaurant and trying to open a security door.
Casa Cruz has been contacted for comment. Its director, Nicholas Fallows, was quoted by the Sun saying that the newspaper’s inquiry was the first he had heard of the apparently illicit gathering.
The restaurant describes itself as an “intimate, warm and elegant” venue, “tucked into the leafy streets of London’s Notting Hill”. Its “core philosophy” is to be a “home away from home for all”, according to its website.