Health

England’s new coronavirus restrictions explained


A series of new restrictions connected to coronavirus came into force in England on Monday. There are new rules requiring people to self-isolate, with businesses having to abide by workplace safety measures, and there are limitations on music, singing and dancing.

The most eye-catching include:

• If someone tests positive for coronavirus or is told to self-isolate by the NHS test and trace service, they must do so, or face fines that start at £1,000 and can rise to £10,000 for repeat offences. Police can forcibly take people back to their accommodation.

• It is now an offence to falsely try to force someone to self-isolate, for example wrongly saying they have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus. Offenders can be fined £1,000.

• People can face the same fine for “knowingly give false information” about, for example, others in their household who should also self-isolate.

• Someone can be fined £4,000 if they are “reckless” in coming into contact with a significant number of people when they know should self-isolate, for example going into an office or crowded building such as a pub.

• A person can be fined £50 for failing to tell their employer they have to self-isolate. In turn, firms can be fined up to £10,000 for the worst offences if they force staff to come to work when they should be quarantined.

• Separate regulations on the hospitality industry ban pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes from playing loud music – defined as above 85 decibels – although live performances are exempt.

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• Managers of such businesses must also take take “all reasonable measures” to stop singing or dancing by customers in groups of more than six.

The rules must be reviewed within six months but could last up to a year unless the government decides to scrap them earlier.



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