People who do not self-isolate in England will now face fines of up to 10,000 pounds, or almost $13,000, as the nation battles a second coronavirus wave.
As of Monday, it is illegal for those who test positive for the virus or have come into contact with a positive case to not quarantine for 14 days. The fines begin at £1,000 but could increase to £10,000 for especially egregious or repeated offenses. The government said it would begin offering a payment of £500 to lower-income residents who cannot work while isolating.
In addition, about two-thirds of the population in Wales will be under lockdown restrictions as of Monday evening. The rules largely ban nonessential movement outside of local areas.
The new rules come as Britain faces a surge in cases and what Prime Minister Boris Johnson called a “perilous turning point.” Earlier this month, Mr. Johnson announced a raft of new restrictions, including bans on most gatherings over six people and closing times of 10 p.m. for pubs and restaurants.
Britain recorded 5,692 new cases on Sunday, and the seven-day daily average is above 5,800, the highest since the pandemic began. There have been at least 434,900 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Britain, and as of Monday morning, nearly 42,000 people had died.
The government has not ruled out the possibility of a second national lockdown or one for the city of London. Britain has been using local lockdowns to try to control the spread of the virus.
“We must do all we can to avoid going down that road again,” Mr. Johnson said last week of a second national lockdown. “But if people don’t follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further.”
An uproar over precisely who faces restrictions has flared after The Times of London reported Monday morning that Parliament’s bars were exempt from the 10 p.m. curfew because they provide food and drink for a workplace. By late morning, that position seemed to have changed: “Alcohol will not be sold after 10 p.m. anywhere on the parliamentary estate,” a government spokesman said.