People infected with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) who fail to self-isolate will be fined up to 10,000 pounds sterling (11,000 euros), the UK Government announced on Saturday as it presented new rules aimed at curbing new COVID-19 infections.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had stated on Friday that the United Kingdom was facing a second wave of COVID-19, presented new restrictions that apply to residents of the Northwest, Midlands and West Yorkshire, the hardest hit areas.
Under the new rules, self-quarantining is mandatory by law from 28 September for people who test positive or whom the National Health Service (NHS) asks to self-isolate.
“The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they are at risk of passing on the virus,” the British Prime Minister said in a statement.
“And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace,” he added.
The UK requires people who test positive for the virus to go into self-isolation for 10 days, while anyone who has lived with someone who tested positive or showed symptoms, needs to remain in self-confinement for 14 days.
People who flout these rules are liable to fines ranging from 1,000 pounds (1,090 euros) to 10,000 pounds for repeat offenders or persons who commit the most egregious violations.
The UK is the European country worst affected by the pandemic, with close to 42,000 deaths registered. It is facing a marked spike in new cases since the reopening of schools for the new academic year.
On Friday, Johnson said he feared a new wave of infections in France, Spain and across Europe would inevitably reach Britain.
However, while imposing new restrictions, the UK Prime Minister has been reluctant to impose a total lockdown once again in the country.
This comes as no surprise against a background of criticism levelled by many Conservative parliamentarians against the measures already taken.