Priti Patel has warned Brits they risk huge fines of more than £6,000 if they don't stick to the country's coronavirus lockdown rules by holding illegal parties.
The Home Secretary chaired a Downing Street briefing on Thursday, January 21, after admitting earlier this week it is still "a long way" until restrictions can start to be lifted.
Ms Patel was joined by Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, and Dr Vin Diwakar, NHS England regional medical director for London.
At the briefing, Ms Patel announced that anyone attending a house party of more than 15 people could face a £800 fine, which will double for repeat offenders up to a maximum of £6,400.
Ms Patel said: "The science is clear. Such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant risk to public health, not only to those in attendance but also to our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down."
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said: "When we [the police] see people that are putting others and themselves in danger, we won't waste time trying to reason with them.
"They are demonstrating no regard for the safety of others or even themselves."
Mr Hewitt also revealed that since late August last year and up to January 17 this year, police across the country have handed out 250 fixed penalty notices carrying £10,000 fines to people who have organised large parties or gatherings.
He also gave some examples of what police are dealing with across the country as they shutdown the rule-breakers who are holding large parties.
Mr Hewitt added: "Last week in Brick Lane in London, following reports from neighbours, officers attended a house party where there were more than 40 people cramped indoors.
"Those people in there were hostile to the police. Three officers were injured and one actually required hospital treatment and we also found drugs on the premises.
"In that case arrests were made and fines were issued.
"A house party in Hertfordshire with more than 150 people attending was stopped.
"They had music equipment, mixing decks, amplifiers all being used by the organisers.
"Neighbours had contacted us after seeing an unusual number of cars outside.
"Multiple fines were given in that example, equipment was seized and sadly again, an officer was injured in dealing with that issue.
"In a slightly different sense, an officer who took part in an operation in Bournemouth, policing an anti-lockdown protest has since contracted the disease and has had to be admitted to hospital.
"Now while that infection cannot be directly linked to that event, I think what it does do is put into perspective the dangerous nature of policing.
"Even with the adequate PPE that we provide to our staff, this is risky."
On Wednesday a horrifying 1,820 deaths were recorded along with 38,905 positive cases.
It comes as a study shows the start of lockdown has failed to drive down cases like previous national efforts have.
Scientists think the new, more contagious mutation may be to blame, while they warn that infections may not fall unless we do more.
Lead researcher Professor Paul Elliott, from Imperial College London, said: “Our data is showing worrying suggestions of a recent uptick in infections which we will continue to monitor closely.
“Infections must be brought down; if prevalence continues at the high rate we are seeing then hospitals will continue to be put under immense pressure, and more and more lives will be lost.”