The British government will issue fines of as much as GBP 10,000 ( USD 13,000) for people who break coronavirus self-isolation rules, in an attempt to mitigate the increased number of positive cases across the country.
The new rule enters into force on Sept 18, the prime minister office announced in a news release. The new regulation requires people to self-isolate if they test positive for the novel virus, or are traced as a closed contact.
The penalties start at GBP 1,000 and will increase for repeated offenders. The highest penalties will also apply to businesses that threaten to lay off self-isolating personnel if they do not come back to work, the government highlighted.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was also diagnosed with the virus in spring, said that the best way to fight the diseases is to follow the rules and self-isolate if we are at risk of passing it on.
In his view, too many people are still underestimating the thread; therefore, everyone will be legally obliged to follow the new regulations. Test-and-trace call handlers will contact people in self-isolation to enforce the protocol, Johnson said. The police will also check for compliance among high-risk groups, he added.
According to the new guidelines, people who start suffering Covid-19 symptoms should stay home for at least ten days. Other members of their household should remain home for 14 days.
People who test positive are asked to provide details of their contact persons outside of their household to be traced and may be told to self-isolate.
Until now, there has been little enforcement of self-isolation rules, except in some cases where police checked on people returning to the UK from abroad.
As for low incomers who cannot work from home, they will be given GPB 500 (USD 886), Johnson noted. The Prime Minister is also rumored to reduce the open hours for pubs and to ban household mixing.
UK health secretary, Andrew Marr, said the said he does not rule out a second national lockdown, but he would prefer not to see it. According to Marr, people can prevent it if they follow the rules.
Europe has witnessed a climb in positive Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, with governments weighing new public life’s restrictions. The UK reported 4,422 more cases on Saturday, the highest number since May 8, Boris Johnson said, adding that he is also considering more rules.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the new measure?