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Fines will initially start at £1,000 rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders and for “the most egregious breaches” including those who stop others from self-isolating, like an employer who asks a staff member to come into work in violation of an order.
The penalties are in line with those for people who fail to quarantine for 14 days after returning to the UK from a country not on the list of low-risk nations.
The new regulations will come into force in England on September 28, although ministers are discussing with the devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland about extending them UK-wide.
The heavy penalty is the latest in a series of financial punishments introduced by authorities aimed at deterring would-be rule-flouters amid a recent sharp upsurge in coronavirus infections. A full list of key questions and answers around coronavirus fines is below.
• Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens
• Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
• Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm to 5am
Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:
• Not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues
• Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
• Take holidays only within your own household or support bubble
• Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators
These changes are in addition to the nationwide 6-person limit on social gatherings that came into force last Monday.
From Monday September 14, new laws came into force banning groups of six or more in England, whether gathering inside or outside.
Find yourself in a group of more than a half-dozen without a work or education exemption, and you could be on the wrong end of a penalty which doubles on each repeat offence up to a maximum number, which depends on the country you are in.
Similar rules apply in Scotland and Wales with differences on household configurations and under-12s not counting toward the total.
In Scotland, the limit is also six outdoors, but gatherings outdoors of up to 30 people are still all right in Wales and Northern Ireland.
In Northern Ireland, the rule of six currently applies only in Ballymena, Co Antrim, and the Belfast city council area.
Fines for not wearing face coverings where it is mandated such as public transport, shops and supermarkets were also announced by the Home Office in August, with the bare-faced liable to be fined.
Scotland already had rules on face masks in shops introduced in July, Northern Ireland in August, and they were made mandatory in Wales in September.
Last month, it was announced organisers of large gatherings of more than 30 people – like unlicensed music events and raves – can be subject to fines of up to £10,000 in England and Wales.
There is no similar provision in Scotland or Northern Ireland yet.
According to the Metropolitan Police section on powers available to the police under coronavirus legislation, those aged 18 and over in England can be fined £100 for the first offence – lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days – doubling on each repeat offence up to a maximum of £3,200.
In Scotland, people aged 16 and over can be fined £60 for the first breach – lowered to £30 if paid within 28 days – doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £960.
In Wales, those aged 18 and over can be fined £60 for the first offence – lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days – doubling for each repeat offence up to a £960 maximum, and it is the same in Northern Ireland.
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