New laws intended to control the spread of coronavirus were brought in from Monday, September 28.
Ministers have updated the legislation which gives police new powers to hand out fines to people who flout the latest measures.
But there is a lot to remember. Even the Prime Minister didnt get it right at first when asked to explain new restrictions for the North East.
Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch condemned the way the changes were introduced, saying: Yet again, this was imposed without scrutiny from parliament. Where will it end?
Government cannot and should not legislate every part of our lives.
The latest laws for England include doubling the fines for not wearing a face covering, and fines going up to a whopping £10,000 for repeat offences such as failing to stay in self-isolation.
Heres a round-up of all the fines you now face for not sticking to the rules around Covid-19 in England.
1. £200 for not wearing a mask
In England, the fine has doubled for not wearing a face covering in a long list of indoor settings, the Mirror reports.
For a first offence it is £200. For repeat offenders, the fine doubles for each subsequent breach so a second fine is £400, then it goes up to£800, £1,600, £3,200 and £6,400. Fines are halved if you pay them within 14 days.
In England, you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings:
- public transport (planes, trains, trams and buses)
- taxis and private hire vehicles
- transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
- shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
- auction houses
- premises providing hospitality (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when seated at a table to eat or drink (exemptions here)
- post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
- estate and lettings agents
- premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
- premises providing veterinary services
- visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
- libraries and public reading rooms
- places of worship
- funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels)
- community centres, youth centres and social clubs
- exhibition halls and conference centres
- public areas in hotels and hostels
- storage and distribution facilities
You are expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these places and must keep it on until you leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it, such as when eating or drinking.
Police are legally allowed to issue you with a fine if they reasonably believe you have committed an offence.
The fines are given on the spot and you have 28 days to pay. It doesnt go on your criminal record. But if you fail to pay, you can be charged and taken to court.
2. £1,000 for leaving self-isolation
If you test positive for Covid-19, you must stay where you live - and not even leave for exercise - for 10 days from when your symptoms started.
This time period can be different if your test took too long to get done or come back. In these rare cases, the 10-day clock will begin five days before you had your test.
For leaving self-isolation, first offenders can be fined £1,000. That rises to £2,000, £4,000 and £10,000 for second, third and fourth offences.
Meanwhile, you must now also legally self-isolate for 14 days if you came into contact with a positive Covid-19 case, and are told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
The 14-day period begins when the person you had contact with first developed symptoms.
Guidance says you must self-isolate for for 14 days if you come into close contact with someone who tested positive. But the law only applies if you are told that officially after Monday 28 September. This means being told by either NHS Test and Trace or a council officer. It does not include if youre told to isolate by an alert on the new Covid-19 app.
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3. £4,000 for recklessly leaving self-isolation
Its now a crime to recklessly leave self-isolation in a way that puts someone else in danger.
This offence carries a much higher fine of £4,000 for first offenders - and jumps to £10,000 for a second offence.
Like the other offences, police hand you this fine on the spot and if you dont pay it, youll be taken to court.
For this law to apply, all four of these things must happen:
- You left self-isolation without reasonable excuse
- You had reason to believe you would come into close contact with another person or group
- You then did come into close contact with another person or group
- You were reckless as to the consequences of that close contact for the health of that other person
The person you met doesnt actually need to get coronavirus for you to be fined £4,000.
Government sources suggest the law could be used to punish people who, for example, pop into their office or another crowded place knowing theyre breaching rules.
4. £1,000 for making false claims about someone else
Telling the Test and Trace service you met someone in the pub would force them into two weeks of quarantine if it turns out you have coronavirus.
But there is a big fine for lying about this. It might be tempting to try to put an ex or enemy into self-isolation but theres a special clause in the law to stop false and vindictive claims that force others into quarantine.
You are committing a criminal offence if you knowingly falsely state, to Test and Trace or a council officer that someone is a close contact of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.
If you are caught you can be fined £1,000 for a first offence, £2,000 for a second, £4,000 for a third and £10,000 for a fourth.
The law has been brought in for two reasons - the first being malicious reports like those described above.
The second reason is to stop people falsely claiming their friends and family have been exposed to coronavirus in order to get them a £500 isolation payment.
5. £1,000 for deliberately not naming your family to Test and Trace
Just as its a crime to wrongly force people into isolation, its a crime to help them avoid it.
It is now a criminal offence to knowingly give false information about self-isolation, either to the NHS Test and Trace or the local councils public health team.
For example, the law says you must name every member of your household if asked to by NHS Test and Trace or the council.
This is because if you test positive for Covid-19, your household is meant to isolate with you for 14 days.
You are also legally required to tell Test and Trace or the council, if they ask you, the address at which youre planning to self-isolate.
If you give false information about either of these things, you are committing a criminal offence. If youre caught youll be fined £1,000 for a first offence, then £2,000, £4,000 and £10,000 if caught again.
6. £1,000 for failing to ensure your children stay in isolation
The fines in the new laws apply to adults aged 18 or over.
But children are not exempt - because the adult responsible for them can be fined in the same way if they dont do their best to keep the child in isolation.
The responsible adult must tell Test and Trace or the council the address at which the child will self-isolate and keep them there for the specified period.
If you you fail to do this, you face the same fines system as if you were leaving self-isolation yourself - £1,000 then £2,000, £4,000 and £10,000.
7. £50 for failing to tell your boss youre self-isolating
Unless you work from home, its now a legal requirement to tell your boss if you have been ordered to self-isolate.
That includes telling your employer the start and end date of your isolation period.
Youre meant to do this as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event, before you were next due into work.
Similar laws apply to agency workers, whose employers then have a legal duty to pass the information up the chain to the firm that hired an agency in the first place.
The fine for failing to do this is much lower, at £50.
The law has been brought in to ensure theres a paper trail, meaning employers can be fined if they force self-isolating workers to come into the office.
8. £1,000 for forcing an isolating employee to come to work
Firms can also be fined £1,000 - rising to £2,000, £4,000 and £10,000 for repeat offences - if they force self-isolating staff into work.
It is a criminal offence to knowingly allow the worker to attend any place other than where theyre isolating, for the purposes of employment.
This excludes the places anyone is legally allowed to go while in self-isolation.
Like the other offences, this is punished with a fixed penalty but can also lead to a prosecution in the courts.
If an offence is committed by a corporate body, and neglect, consent or connivance is found on the part of a director or manager, that manager can be prosecuted personally.
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9. £1,000 for loud music or dancing in a pub
New laws ban pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes from playing music which exceeds 85 decibels at the source of the music. Live performances are exempt.
The manager must also take all reasonable measures to stop dancing on the premises by customers.
And they must also take all reasonable measures to stop singing by customers in groups of more than six.
This converts what was already guidance for pub landlords into law. The aim is to avoid an environment where people have to shout - which increases the risk of spreading the virus through the air.
Pub landlords or other directors or managers can be fined £1,000 for a first offence, rising to £10,000 on a fourth offence. This halves to £500 if paid within 14 days.