People caught flouting coronavirus rules by attending illegal house parties will be subject to new fines of £800 that could rise to £6,400 for repeat offenders, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What are the current rules on meeting with others?
This even includes family members who are not part of your support bubble.
How will the new Coronavirus fines work?
Previously, fines for attending illegal gatherings stood at £200 (or £100 when paid early).
They will now rise to £800 and will double for each repeat offence up to a maximum of £6,400. The fine will apply for groups of more than 15 people.
In line with the new rules, the police will be able to give out fines on the spot to anyone found at an illegal party.
Those found organising unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people still face a fine of £10,000 as per previous guidelines.
Why the new fines?
The introduction of a new penalty, according to Ms Patel, is due to a small minority of people who refuse to do the right thing during lockdown.
Ms Patel said: “The science is clear: such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant threat to public health not only to those in attendance but to our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down.”
Using the high number of coronavirus deaths reported in the last week, Ms Patel added that breaches of lockdown were essentially costing lives, thus the need for the new rules.
What other coronavirus fines are in place?
There are already several other fines in place for people found breaking the government’s coronavirus rules.
For example, you could be fined up to £200 for not wearing a face covering on public transport and in taxis and private hire vehicles unless you are exempt.
Refusing to self-isolate when ordered to could also see you pay a fine starting at £1,000.
This also applies to those who stop others from self-isolating. An example is a boss who asks an employee to report to work in violation of a self-isolation order.
The £1,000 fine could rise to £10,000 for repeat offences and for ‘the most egregious breaches’.
People travelling to the UK who fail to self-isolate could also face a fine of £1,000.
Financial preparedness in times of coronavirus
In a time when most people’s personal finances have taken a huge hit because of the pandemic, a fine of £800 – let alone £6,400 – could be a great financial setback.
It’s therefore a wise move to observe the current coronavirus rules to avoid having to paying a hefty fine that could financially ruin you.
It’s also a good idea to start taking action to protect your personal finances. We don’t know how long the current situation will last.
Some moves worth considering include:
- Starting an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or financial situations such as a job loss.
- Creating a budget to help you track and manage your spending.
- Saving whatever you can and growing it through a good investment vehicle, such as a stocks and shares ISA.
- Overhauling your credit by looking for better, cheaper credit card deals.
- Applying for any government support or benefits you may be entitled to. To find out what support you can get, head over to the gov.uk website.
As we continue to navigate lockdown, it’s worth keeping in mind that the rules are for our own protection. If we all play our part, we can slow the spread of the virus, paving the way for a return to some kind of normality.
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