New fines of up to £10,000 for failing to self-isolate

Boris Johnson

New fines of up to £10,000 for failing to self-isolate

People who ignore instructions to self-isolate will be hit with heavy fines of up to £10,000.

And in another new move, around four million people on low incomes and in receipt of benefits, will be given special “stay home” payments of £500 to compensate for lost earnings over their two-week isolation periods.

The new crackdown comes as Covid-19 infections are rising at rates last seen before the full lockdown in March.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also said to be weighing up the introduction of further restrictions amid fears the UK could require a “circuit break” or face death tolls of hundreds a day within weeks.

From 28 September, under the emergency package announced last night (Saturday), people will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by the test and trace system as having been in contact with an infected person.

Fines will start at £1,000, rising to £10,000 for serial offenders.

More police resources will also be directed to find offenders in high-incidence areas. Officers will be told to act on tips from neighbours.

To ensure compliance NHS Test and Trace staff will regularly call those supposed to be at home.
Any concerns they have can be “escalated” to police, according to the Independent.

Announcing the new rules for England, the Prime Minister said: “People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines.

“We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Since May, ministers have been telling those who test positive for coronavirus and their contacts to stay at home. But the previous advice was merely guidance, not the law, and not enforceable with fines.

Yesterday (Saturday) there were a further 4,422 confirmed Covid-19 cases across the UK – the first time the daily total has topped 4,000 for two consecutive days since early May.

Scientists urged ministers not to repeat the mistakes of the first lockdown and, in particular, to take action to protect people in care homes.

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