Lockdown fines: What are the fines for breaking lockdown rules?
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented the new lockdown on Monday after coronavirus cases in the country have gotten out of hand once again. The public are being urged to follow the new rules, which have replaced England’s Tier system since early last week. Addressing the nation, Mr Johnson said: “As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic.
“In England alone, the number of Covid patients in hospitals has increased nearly a third in the last week, to almost 27,000.
“That number is 40 percent higher than the first peak in April.”
The Government is urging people to stay at home except for a small handful of exceptions, which includes shopping for essentials and some exercise.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has been clear that the new rules mean the police will question people thought to be breaking them.
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On Thursday, Ms Patel told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about police questioning people sitting on park benches.
The Home Secretary said: “Police have done that, let us be very clear about this.
“Throughout this coronavirus pandemic, during the last lockdown, the police have been asking individuals why are they out and about and should they be out and about, when the message right now is stay at home.”
At the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020, the police were criticised for being overzealous in their enforcing of the rules.
What are the fines for breaking lockdown rules?
If you are found to be breaking one or more of the Covid restrictions, police can give you a fixed penalty notice.
This notice is similar to a parking ticket, but handed out for rule-breaking instead.
Police in England and Wales have issued 25,000 fines to rule flouters since the pandemic first started last year.
Fines start at £200 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and for large parties, they can be as high as £10,000.
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In Scotland, the fines are lower than they are in the rest of the UK.
In extreme cases, police could even prosecute rule-breakers who could consequently end up in court.
This could, potentially, result in an even bigger fine than you started off with.
You can also be handed a fixed penalty notice for not wearing a mask in shops or on public transport if you don’t have an exemption.
However, it was recently reported that less than 1,000 fines have been issued for non-mask wearers in England and Wales.
Over the Christmas period, there were more than 800 fines dished out for what Ms Patel labelled “egregious” rule-breaking.
The Government is encouraging police officer to enforce the rules and the Home Office has given the force an extra £30million to pay for Covid patrols in England and Wales.
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