THE TORY government is imposing a new legal duty to ‘self-isolate’ if instructed to do so by ‘NHS Test and Trace’ from next Monday, 28 September, with fines of £10,000 for failure to comply.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, Tory Health Secretary Hancock warned: ‘This self-isolation is not like it was for everybody during lockdown. This self-isolation means that you do not leave your home.’
Fines for non-compliance will initially start at £1,000, rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders, and for ‘the most egregious breaches’.
Until now, advice to self-isolate has been guidance only.
More than 19,000 fines have been issued in England and Wales for alleged breaches of coronavirus laws, the attorney general said last week, but more than half have not been paid so far.
NHS Test and Trace will be in regular contact with individuals told to self-isolate and report suspicions that people are not complying to police and local authorities.
Police will check compliance in ‘Covid-19 hotspots’ and among groups considered to be ‘high-risk’ as well as following up reports from members of the public about people who are allegedly breaking self-isolation orders.
Prosecutions could follow in ‘high-profile and egregious’ cases of non-compliance, warn the Tories.
Prime minister Johnson is said to be considering imposing a ban on households mixing and upping the fines for breaching the ‘rule of six’ from £100 to £1,000 after Downing Street issued a report saying that there is an ‘alarming widespread flouting of the rules’.
Johnson said: ‘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. People who ignore the rules will face significant fines.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he supports the new fines, saying it is important to take action against people who are not complying.
‘In the end this is not about party politics, this is about getting the nation through this virus,’ he added.
- Anti-lockdown demonstrators clashed with police at a ‘Resist and Act for Freedom’ rally in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday.
There were 32 arrests as baton-wielding police, some on horseback, sought to break up the rally.
A Metropolitan Police statement said there had been ‘pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers’.