Fines for flouting lockdown rise to a minimum of £100 despite restrictions being eased to allow sunbathing and unlimited outdoor exercise in Boris Johnson’s roadmap back to normality
- Police to issue £100 on the spot fines to lockdown flouts from Wednesday
- A reduction of 50 per cent is offered if paid in the first 14 days
- For repeat offenders fines will be doubled for every breech up to £3,200
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Fines for people who flout lockdown rules in England are set to increase to a minimum of £100 per offence from Wednesday.
The move is just part of the government’s efforts to crack down on non-compliant public gatherings during the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
For repeat offenders the fines will be doubled with every additional breech of the lockdown – up to a limit of £3,200 per individual, the limit is currently £960.
Up until Wednesday the on the spot fine issued by police were up to the value of £60, with a reduction of half if paid within two weeks.
Visitors flock to Chiswick house and gardens in south-west London during record-breaking temperatures over the bank holiday. Saturday May 9
From Wednesday fines will stand at a minimum of £100 for the first offence, £200 for the second, £400 for the third and so on – a reduction of half the fine will be available if paid within two weeks.
These toughening enforcement measures are to be written into the Home Office’s coronavirus restrictions legislation from Wednesday.
A 50-page strategy document issued by the government today stated that the new fines are hoped to control the ‘increased risk’ of rule-breakers as schools and businesses go back to work over the coming weeks and months.
The document stated:’The Government is examining more stringent enforcement measures for non-compliance, as it has seen in many other countries.
Police officers on patrol in the South London park are exasperated as they ask sunbathers and people enjoying picnics to leave
Hackney police says it is ‘fighting a losing battle’ as hundreds of people flock to London parks, including London Fields (pictured), to eat pizza, drink wine and eat ice cream today
‘The Government will impose higher fines to reflect the increased risk to others of breaking the rules as people are returning to work and school. The Government will seek to make clearer to the public what is and is not allowed.’
Although the document set out no examples of what would constitute a breach of lockdown rules London Police admitted they were ‘fighting a losing battle’ in the lockdown fight on Saturday as sun-worshipping covidiots packed out parks and beaches on the hottest day of the year so far.
People were out in their droves as temperatures hit 26C (78.8F) on the South Coast, matching the 26C recorded in Treknow, in Cornwall, on Good Friday, making it hotter than Ibiza and St Tropez.
An ice cream seller takes orders from behind a plastic screen while wearing a plastic face mask as crowds line up behind customers in Greenwich Park, London, May 9
Hundreds flocked to London Fields where Hackney police said they were powerless to stop those out enjoying the sun from drinking and eating pizza.
The exasperated force tweeted a picture of the packed park and said: ‘Sadly we’re fighting a losing battle in the parks today. Literally hundreds of people sitting having pizza, beers, wines. As always a big thank you to those that are observing the guidelines.’
Fines will not change from £30 an offence in Scotland as the government found fewer had been issued since the lockdown begun than in England, reports SkyNews.
Speaking on SkyNews John Apter, the national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘What we need from the prime minister and the government now is clear and unambiguous messaging and guidance, explaining what exactly is expected of the public, so that my colleagues can do their level best to police it.’