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The national lockdown which was put in place to reduce the number of infections and protect the NHS enters its fourth week and new rules come into play today.
Merseyside Police say officers will continue to challenge people who are making unnecessary journeys or meeting in groups with people who are not in their household or support bubble and fixed penalty notices will be issued where appropriate.
The latest coronavirus laws are coming into force as part of tougher measures to crack down on illegal gatherings during the pandemic.
The new gathering rules will give a penalty that will apply for groups of more than 15 people and will double after each offence, up to a maximum of £6,400 for repeat offenders, Home Secretary Priti Patel said last week when she announced the plans.
This supersedes current rules where the fines stand at £200.
But the £10,000 penalties for unlawful groups of more than 30 people will still only apply to the organiser.
“We recognise the frustration everyone feels as the national lockdown continues into its fourth week but it’s now more important than ever that we stick by the rules to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the NHS.
“We know that weekends are normally a time for socialising with friends or doing activities such as shopping or eating or drinking in pubs and restaurants but that is simply not possible at the moment.
“There is no excuse for not knowing the rules. We are in a national lockdown and the rules apply to everyone. The sooner everyone sticks by them the sooner we can come out of lockdown and get on with our lives as normal.”
According to the legislation, which has now been published and is called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers and Self-Isolation) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, the £800 fine is cut to £400 if paid within 14 days.
As well as those in private dwellings, the rule also applies to similar gatherings in “educational accommodation”, the documents setting out the new law said.
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