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Coronavirus: The fines that come into force today to try to keep people at home

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New regulations that have come into force today have been explained that strengthen the polices enforcement powers across the country.

The aim is to reduce the spread of coronavirus and to save lives.

To ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel, from today, if members of the public do not comply the police may:

  • Instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse
  • Ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking these rules
  • Issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
  • Issue a fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence.


Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the Regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.

However, in the first instance the police will always apply their common sense and discretion.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

“The Prime Minister has been clear on what we need to do: stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives.

“All our frontline services really are the best of us and are doing an incredible job to stop this terrible virus from spreading.

“That’s why I’m giving the police these new enforcement powers, to protect the public and keep people safe.”

In addition to the new powers, a package of support has been unveiled to boost police resources.

Around 1,500 additional police officers have already joined forces across England and Wales since September 2019 as a result of the police recruitment campaign.

The Government is also ensuring that existing Civil Servants who are already volunteering as Special Constables are able to assist in the national effort to the greatest extent possible.

Additionally tax and pensions rules are to be relaxed which could deter officers nearing retirement and those recently retired from returning to serve.

The Government is also speaking to the Security Industry Authority about what more they can do to encourage the private security sector to support the national response.

The Home Office has been working with police and fire services to understand their requirements for Personal Protective Equipment over the coming months. The National Police Chiefs’ Council has confirmed that police currently have a good supply and they are overseeing distribution to forces but the Government will continue to work with them to ensure that emergency service workers can get the equipment they need, when they need it, in order to carry out their jobs safely.

Individuals will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
  • One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of their household;
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home.

Participating in gatherings of more than two people in public spaces is also not permitted except in very limited circumstances, for example, where it is for essential work purposes. Full guidance can be found here.

Coronavirus

How safe is my school in Crawley? Education union launches COVID-19 map

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The National Education Union, the largest education union in the UK and Europe which represents over 450,000 members has launched a new website that they say provides ‘accurate, accessible and up-to-date information about the Covid-19 rate in the locality of every school in England.’

The site is aimed at people being able to check what the levels of Covid are around the school and whether the school is on a watch list or not.

They say the site is updated weekly, and the data will show the number of Covid-19 cases in a school’s surrounding area, the trend since last week (an increase or decrease in case numbers), whether or not the school is on a watchlist, and links to any local restrictions in place.

They add:

“In much of the country the map will offer reassurance that case numbers are quite low. In others, it will reinforce public health messaging from local authorities and Government that cases are higher. In all situations it will encourage members of the public to follow all public health guidance.

Where cases are higher, it will support head teachers in encouraging parents and other visitors to school sites to maintain social distancing and hygiene.”

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“Everyone in the education sector has worked hard to make full opening of schools, colleges and universities as successful as possible this autumn, but they have been let down by the Government which hasn’t even ensured that Covid testing has kept pace with need.

“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the Government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.

“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit for purpose they will be. This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”

You can check the information around your local school at their new site by clicking here.

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