NEW coronavirus lockdown fines have been put in place to enforce the government's new 'rule of six' measures.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measures, which ban groups of 30 or more people from gathering, which have come into force from today (Monday, September 14) in a bid to help halt a potential second wave of Covid-19.
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What can I be fined for?
Lockdown restrictions have continually been eased since Wednesday, May 13.
But from today (Monday, September 14), the government in England have reduced the number of people allowed to meet outdoors from 3o to just six.
The new clampdown measures are being introduced across England to lower the number of people meeting in groups indoors and out.
Under the former rules, no more than 30 people can meet inside with up to one other household, but this has been slashed to just six.
The new rules also stipulate that the six people can be from different households, in an attempt to bring rules in line with outdoor gatherings.
Anyone in your support bubble counts as one household.
The rule of six also extends to gatherings organised outside.
The latest government guidelines were announced by Boris Johnson at a coronavirus press briefing on September 9.
Police enforcement and fines are being toughened to "reflect the increased risk to others of breaking the rules as people are returning to work and school".
However, the number of people allowed to meet inside or outside varies throughout the UK.
Up to eight people from three different households can meet indoors in Scotland, up to six people from two households in Northern Ireland and up to four households can form an "extended household" in Wales.
You could also be fined for breaching the different coronavirus regulations in place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
How much can I be fined?
New £100 fines have been announced if Brits meet in groups of more than six indoors or out, doubling for each repeat offence up to £3,200.
Those who test positive for Covid-19, as well as their cohabitants and members of their “support bubble” could also face penalties of up to £1,000 for leaving the house.
These measures came into force from Monday, September 14.
Marshals will also be brought in to enforce social distancing in city centres.
The "toughening up" of the rules is a bid to stop the virus' spread.
Scientists and Health Secretary Hancock warned that the UK was on the brink of a second Covid peak.
The measures aim to put a halt to rising cases which could trigger a second national lockdown.
The government have introduced "COVID-secure marshals" to enforce social distancing rules in town and city centres,
Meanwhile, there will be increased enforcement of of quarantine rules for travellers into the country.
In an article written exclusively for the Sun, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "These new rules are easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce.
"They will be able to disperse gatherings of more than six people and fine individuals involved £100, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offenders.
"They will continue to hand down £10,000 fines for people hosting raves or other large unlawful events.
"I know that, as part of our national effort, the law-abiding majority will stick to these new rules."
What happens if I fail to pay the fine?
From Monday, September 14, people will get criminal records if they breach new Covid "rule of six" rules.
Priti Patel urged people to respect the regulations or risk hefty fines as marshals start to patrol streets.
Anyone meeting in a group of more than six indoors or out are now breaking the law.
Home Office officials say those who refuse to accept £100 on-the-spot fines will be arrested and taken to court.
A source said: "Those who repeatedly break the rules need to know they could face a criminal record."
How many people have been fined so far?
In May, figures showed London and Yorkshire were the worst areas for Covidiots in the country – as police issued more than 14,000 fines across England and Wales before lockdown restrictions were eased on May 13.
There has been just 34 cases of people with covid-19 symptoms breaking the quarantine rule after traveling into the UK from high risk areas, Home Office figures show.
But recently, there have already been a number of high profile fines for people breaking lockdown rules.
Fines were slapped on those organising illegal raves for over 30 people – then maximum allowed in a gather before the Rule of Six came into force.
In London, the Metropolitan Police has responded to more than 1,000 unlicensed events since the end of June, receiving information on more than 200 events across the city in a single weekend.
Notable incidents of fines being issued include:
- August: A surge in Bolton was linked to a Layton Migas, a clubber who went to Ibiza and failed to isolate on his return, instead throwing a house party.
- 4 September: A teenager was slapped with a £10,000 Covid-19 fine after 100 people attended a house party in Devizes, Wiltshire, while the boy's mum and dad were away on holiday.
- 11 September: Student Stuart Hawk was fined £10,000 for a house party in Lenton, Nottinghamshire. Stuart Hawk, 19, is furious over the hefty penalty despite inviting 50 friends over to his flat on Friday night.
- 12 September: A party host in Dowbridge, Kirkham was fined £10,000 by Lancashire police after 45 revellers were found at their home.
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