Fines of £10,000 for refusing to self-isolate come into force across England

New fines for refusing to self-isolate have come into force as almost 18 million people are under extra restrictions across parts of the UK on Monday.

People across England will be legally required to self-isolate from this week if they test positive for coronavirus or are contacted by the test and trace service.

If they do not they risk being hit with new fines starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offenders or serious breaches, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

People who test positive for Covid-19 will also be fined if they knowingly provide false information about close contacts to the test and trace service.

The DHSC said that police will check compliance in the highest incidence areas and in high-risk groups based on “local intelligence”.

High 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 DHSC added.

But people on low incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result will also be eligible for a new £500 test and trace support payment, it added.

Under new rules in England wedding ceremonies will also be restricted to 15 people.

Meanwhile three more council areas in South Wales will go into local lockdown from 6pm on Monday, the Welsh Government has announced.

London on the coronavirus watch list

Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan will be covered by the restrictions, which mean people will not be able to enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse.

They will not be able to meet indoors with anyone they do not live with, with extended households suspended.

Restrictions are already in place in Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelli, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

It comes after bans on households mixing came into force in Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds on Saturday, while stricter rules are already in force across large swathes of north-west England, West Yorkshire, the North East and the Midlands, as well as parts of west Scotland.

The new restrictions in three areas of Wales means an estimated 17.8 million people across the UK will be living under additional coronavirus measures by Monday evening, on top of those announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Government said that, as of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 5,693 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. A further 17 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday. Meanwhile, the DHSC said that six million people had downloaded the NHS Test and Trace App the first day it launched, and this had since risen to 10 million by midday on Sunday.

Ministers are also under growing pressure to review the “hard” 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants amid criticism that the new rules are leading to revellers filling streets en masse.

Crowds of people were pictured on Saturday night gathering in city centres and piling onto public transport, while long queues formed at off licences after venues kicked customers out at 10pm.

 Ministers are also under growing pressure to review the ‘hard’ 10pm curfew on pubs (AFP via Getty Images)

But Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden insisted on Sunday that there was “definitely science” behind the curfew, despite a scientist advising the Government saying he had “never heard” the measure discussed at Sage meetings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a Commons defeat on Wednesday as Tory rebels continue to press the Government to give MPs a chance to vote on coronavirus measures before they come into force.

Conservative former chief whip Mark Harper became the latest backbencher to say he would back the amendment unless ministers back down.

Evening Standard – News