You can be fined up to £10k for failing to self-isolate when told from today
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
You can be fined up to £10,000 for failing to self-isolate when asked from today - as tough new rules to contain the spread of Covid-19 come into effect.
People are now legally required to self-isolate for 14 days if they test positive for coronavirus, or are contacted by the test and trace service.
MORE: Latest coronavirus infection rates revealed for your areaThere have been concerns some of those who should have been self-isolating in recent weeks have not done so at all times - but now those who flout the rules risk being hit with financial penalties.
The punishment starts at £1,000 and rises up to £10,000 for repeat offenders or serious breaches.
MORE: Explained – All you need to know about the new coronavirus restrictionsHigh profile and “egregious” cases of non-compliance will be investigated and prosecuted, while action will be taken on tip-offs from “third parties” about people who have tested positive but are not self-isolating, the Department for Health and Social Care says.
New rules coming into effect today also mean wedding ceremonies in England will be restricted to 15 people.
Health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has said the government will “not hesitate” to introduce further measures if case numbers continue to rise.
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He added: “Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can spread it.
“We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones.
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“As cases rise it is imperative we take action, and we are introducing a legal duty to self-isolate when told to do so, with fines for breaches and a new £500 support payment for those on lower incomes who can’t work from home while they are self-isolating.
“These simple steps can make a huge difference to reduce the spread of the virus, but we will not hesitate to put in place further measures if cases continue to rise.”