The UK government has according to news agency reports announced new rules, which make it a legal requirement for people with coronavirus to quarantine, with fines of up to 10,000 pounds imposed on repeat breaches of the stipulated 14-day self-isolation period to control the spread of the virus.
Downing Street said the new requirements, which will be enforced from September 28, also come with support payments of 500 pounds for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home, such as construction workers, and stand to lose income as a result of the mandatory self-isolation.
The rules come in as Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers further tougher measures after he warned that the UK may now be seeing a second wave coming in of the deadly virus, with the number of cases continuing to rise.
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 (National Health Service) and save lives, said Johnson.
And while most people are doing their absolute level best to comply with the rules, I don’t want to see a situation where people don’t feel they are financially able to self-isolate. That’s why we’re also introducing a new GBP 500 Test and Trace Support payment for those on low incomes who are required by NHS Test and Trace to remain at home to help stop the spread of the virus, he said.
New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at 1,000 pounds — bringing this in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel — but could increase to up to 10,000 pounds for repeat offences and for the most egregious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.
For example, this could include business owners who threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not come to work, sending a clear message that this is now punishable by law.
“The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they’re at risk of passing on coronavirus. And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace, Johnson said.