Covid fines: What can I be fined for?
UK lockdown: Police officer calls on public to ‘do their bit’
The UK’s most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, warned the force would be “increasingly likely” to hand out fines as officer move “more quickly” to enforce the restrictions. Ms Dick said: “It is preposterous to me that anyone could be unaware of our duty to do all we can to stop the spread of the virus. We have been clear that those who breach Covid-19 legislation are increasingly likely to face fines.”
However, Ms Dick’s comments came as law enforcement officials said police officers would not enforce mask-wearing in supermarkets, despite a Government crackdown on the matter.
It is understood Morrisons has been prepared to call in police as a last resort if customers do not comply with the request to wear a mask.
At Monday’s Downing Street briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock cranked up pressure on both police and supermarkets, applauding Morrisons’ approach and saying stronger action was necessary.
Mr Hancock said: “That’s the right approach, and I want to see all parts of society playing their part in this. Stronger enforcement is necessary, and I’m delighted that the police are stepping up their enforcement.
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“But it isn’t just about the Government and the rules we set, or the police and the work that they do. It’s about how everybody behaves.”
As with a number of instances during the pandemic, the messaging on police enforcing lockdown rules has been mixed.
Asked about enforcing the rules in supermarkets, one senior officer said: “We won’t be doing that.” He added: “Do people really want the police telling you ‘that’s not above your nose?’
“There are no extra officers. Everything else [crime] is still happening. Where is the greater risk: do you put two people in a supermarket not wearing masks before a woman suffering domestic violence? You need clearer, consistent messaging, not new rules and more enforcement.”
What can you be fined for?
The following lockdown breaches carry a fixed penalty notice of £200, reducing to £100 if paid off within 14 days:
- Failing to stay at home
- Gathering in a public place
- Gathering in a private place (homes, restaurants etc.)
- Not wearing a face covering on public transport (unless you’re exempt)
- Not wearing a face covering in certain other indoor settings (unless you’re exempt)
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Breaking the following lockdown rules carries a fixed penalty notice of £1,000, or are punishable on summary conviction by a fine under £10,000:
- Not closing a business as required
- Not implementing measures to maintain social distancing
- Organising a large gathering or an unlicensed music event
- Returning travellers not self-isolating as instructed
- Travel operators failing to provide public health information
Travellers who refuse to provide information upon arrival can be fined £60, reducing to £30 if paid within 14 days.
This fixed penalty notice can continue to double to a maximum of £960 until it’s fully paid off.
Ms Dick said despite the clear legislation on social gatherings, officers were still finding people breaking the law.
She said: “Most people are doing the right thing to keep each other safe, but sadly a small minority of people continue to flagrantly ignore the rules, for example by holding house parties, meeting in basements to gamble or breaking into railway arches for unlicensed raves.”
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