United Kingdom

What are the fines for breaking lockdown rules?

A new tier four has been introduced (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It’s important to know what the fines are for breaking the government’s Covid restrictions – following the introduction of tier four.

Tier four places stricter lockdown measures and a blanket ‘stay home’ policy’ for those in London and parts of South East England.

England first went into tier-based restrictions following England’s ‘second lockdown’ on December 2. The majority of England is now in tier three, following an earlier update to the tiers list.

So, what are the rules for both tiers, and what fines could you incur if you break them?

What are the tier 4 rules?

Time to stay at home where possible (Picture: Getty)

Tier four is called the ‘stay at home’ tier. It asks for all residents living in the area to remain indoors.

You are allowed to leave your home for ‘essential activities’ – including food shopping, exercising, providing care, attending medical appointments, taking part in the communal worship, among others.

People can leave their homes and meet only one person from outside their household for exercise – though generally you’re not supposed to meet other people if it can be avoided.

However, if you are in a support bubble with another household you can continue to meet with them, while informal childcare bubbles can remain in place for children under 13.

All travel needs to remain local where possible, and journey numbers should be reduced.

What are the rules for those in tier 3 (or lower)?

Meeting friends at pubs and restaurants is banned (Picture: Getty Images)

As tiers go down from three to two to one, the restrictions on daily life and social gatherings relax, plus more shops, services and hospitality venues can open.

In tiers two and three, you are not allowed to meet up with people from other households indoors, including in private homes and public hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants.

You are however allowed to meet up to six people in a public outdoor space, at a social distance.

You are still allowed to meet with your support bubble, and childcare bubbles can continue.

What are the fines for breaking tier 1, 2, 3 or 4 lockdown rules?

You are encouraged to report rule-breakers to the police (Picture: Getty Images)

If you are caught breaking the rules by meeting in large groups, you could be handed a £200 fine under UK law.

The fine for each subsequent offence would double up to a maximum of £6,400.

Those found to be holding a gathering of more than 30 people against the rules will be fined £10,000, as is the case across the country.

The fine for breaching self-isolation rules starts at £1,000.

Additionally, Gov.uk states: ‘Businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.’

The rules are enforced by ‘Covid marshalls’ and police officers, who patrol parks, shops, train stations, and public hospitality venues to ensure that the rules are being followed.

They can hand out on the spot fines, and also disperse groups that are breaking the rules.

If you spot others breaking the rules, then the government encourages you to report it to the police.

How can I check if I’m in tier 2, 3 or 4?

England’s capital and surrounding counties are affected by tier four (Picture: PA)

London and most of the South East are now in tier 4, including:

  • Berkshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Hertfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, and Essex except Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford)
  • Gosport
  • Havant
  • Kent
  • London (all boroughs)
  • Portsmouth
  • Rother and Hastings
  • Surrey (except Waverley)

Wales has also implemented similar level 4 restrictions already, while Scotland’s level 4 will be in place from Boxing Day.

The majority of England is now in tier three. You can check the tier of your area using the Government’s postcode checker.

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MORE : Coronavirus news live: Last minute scramble to leave London ahead of lockdown, and Donald Trump criticises tier four restrictions


MORE : Matt Hancock slams ‘totally irresponsible’ Brits trying to leave tier 4 London

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