UK minister warns of tough fines as England enters second lockdown


London: The United Kingdom (UK) government Thursday reminded people about the tough fines in place over severe breaches of the lockdown. England entered its second stay-at-home lockdown in order to try and control the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections. The lockdown is expected to last at least until December 2.

UK Justice Secretary Robert Buckland that while the police forces of the country will continue to follow the principle of policing by consent. However, they would respond to ‘egregious breaches’ and hand out fines where necessary.

Under the legal requirements in place, people have been told to stay at home unless leaving for work. They can go out of home for shopping for essentials or a form of daily exercise.

All non-essential shops, pubs, bars, restaurants and gyms have been ordered to close. Households are also banned from mixing indoors or in private gardens, unless in a so-called ‘support bubble’. There is a 200 pounds fine for each breach which doubles on every offence up to a maximum of 6,400 pounds. Organisers of large gatherings face a 10,000 pounds fine.

“Where a more intense intervention is needed then the police will be involved. Of course the fine structure is still in force,” Buckland told the ‘BBC’. “I think the message has to go out very clearly that this will only work if we all play our part. Only a tiny minority’ of people are responsible for breaches which risk public health. They have to be stopped,” he added.

Buckland’s message came as the Metropolitan Police, the UK’s largest police force, issued a statement. It talked about the policing plans for the second lockdown.

“It is vitally important that we’re all sensible, use common sense and stick to the rules. By working together, we can help prevent the spread of this deadly virus which has already claimed so many lives. We can’t let a resurgence occur,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist of the Met Police. “We are ready and prepared to take enforcement action against those who are deliberately breaching rules and putting people at risk,” he added.

The second lockdown in UK was implemented as the country recorded a further 492 coronavirus deaths. It is the highest daily figure since 19 May, taking the death toll past 47,700.